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$riii0h  Commission,  Chiracs  (Exhibition,  1893. 




ON    THE 






"  So  womanlie^  so  benigne,  and  so  meeke." — CHAUCER. 







The  Report  of  Philanthropic  Work,  pro- 
moted or  originated  by  Englishwomen,  which  it  was 
the  desire  of  your  Royal  Highness  that  I  should 
prepare,  is  now  completed.  The  difficulty  of  even 
an  approximately  just  record  of  this  work  will  be  by 
no  one  better  understood  than  by  yourself,  familiar 
as  your  Royal  Highness  is,  not  only  with  its  more 
salient  evidences,  but  with  those  undercurrents,  which, 
whether  through  giving  or  receiving,  sweeten  and 
refresh  the  daily  life  of  nearly  every  Englishwoman. 
In  reflecting  over  the  methods  within  my  reach  in 
order  to  carry  into  effect  your  behest,  two  only  seemed 
to  offer  any  feasible  means  of  obtaining  reliable  in- 
formation upon  a  subject  embracing,  necessarily, 
besides  home  organizations,  all  those  missionary, 
religious,  or  social  efforts  undertaken,  often  under 
difficult  surroundings,  by  Englishwomen  for  the 
benefit  of  distant  and  alien  races,  »or  on  behalf  of 
their  own  kith  and  kin  settled  in  foreign  countries. 

(     vi     ) 

One  method  was  to  collect  all  the  regular  pub- 
lished reports  of  Societies,  Institutions,  etc.,  and  to 
collate  these  into  a  summary,  together  with  any 
printed  matter  relating  to  charitable  effort  which  I 
could  obtain  from  other  sources.  This  plan,  though 
affording  the  advantages  of  statistical  form  and 
economic  detail,  appeared  to  lack  that  vitalizing 
touch  which  is  given  by  individuality,  and  which  is 
essential  to  a  full  understanding  of  personal  work. 
It  also  had,  in  addition,  the  disadvantage  of  excluding 
all  record  of  the  gentle  homely  lives  which  are  so 
constantly  found  actively  employed  in  charity  through- 
out this  country,  and  whose  quiet  work  diffuses  sun- 
shine in  many  an  unknown  circle. 

The  second  method  was  the  one  I  adopted, 
namely,  to  seek  for  information  direct  from  individuals 
— from  the  heads  of  all  religious  communities,  the 
presidents  or  active  promoters  of  philanthropic  or 
social  organizations,  both  large  and  small,  and  from 
women  engaged,  either  singly  or  in  combination  with 
others,  in  charitable  work — and  ask  from  them  (a  re- 
quest most  willingly  and  kindly  responded  to)  a  per- 
sonally written  report  of  women's  work  within  their 
cognizance.  This  latter  plan  secured  many  of  the 
advantages  of  the  former;  for,  of  course,  it  did  not 
preclude  statistics  or  economic  details,  whilst  it  gained 
the  charm  of  personal  narrative  to  which  I  have 
alluded.  It  also  gave  an  opportunity  of  obtaining 
illustrations  of  the  work  in  which  many  were  engaged, 

(     vii     ) 

which  will  somewhat  relieve  the  monotony  of  mere 
paper  records.  A  list  of  these  will  accompany  the 
Report,  and  they  will  be  exhibited  in  the  space 
assigned  me  in  the  Women's  Building  at  Chicago. 

I  am  desirous  here  to  record  my  indebtedness  to 
the  small  Committee  of  Ladies  who  have  been  work- 
ing with  me  in  the  general  organization  requisite  to 
set  on  foot  all  these  inquiries.  Possessed  of  an 
intimate  knowledge  of  philanthropic  work,  and  freely 
giving  a  large  amount  of  time  and  labour,  they  have 
rendered  me  invaluable  assistance  in  the  production 
of  this  Report,  which  I  hope  will  in  some  measure 
carry  out  your  Royal  Highness's  wishes. 

It  only  remains  for  me  to  thank  your  Royal 
Highness  in  the  name  of  the  women-workers  of 
Great  Britain  (who  will  perhaps  in  this  respect  permit 
me  to  represent  them)  for  having  taken  the  lead  in 
bringing  the  matters  herein  contained  to  the  know- 
ledge of  their  kinsfolk  across  the  seas  on  the  great 
occasion  of  the  Chicago  Exhibition,  which,  I  trust, 
among  many  other  noble  results,  will  join  not  only 
two,  but  all  nations  of  the  world  in  a  common  bond 
of  sympathy  with  Women's  Philanthropic  Work. 
I  remain,  with  the  greatest  respect, 


Your  Royal  Highness's  most  dutiful  and  obedient 



SINCE  the  first  inauguration  of  International  Exhibitions  in 
1851  by  the  Queen  and  Prince  Consort,  in  London,  none  will 
rank  among  the  nations  of  the  world  as  more  remarkable 
than  that  which  is  to  be  opened  in  Chicago  this  year,  and 
which  will  give  to  1893  a  significant  and  unique  place  in  the 
history  of  the  material  and  social  progress  of  the  world.  The 
former — the  material — has  been  perhaps  the  main  feature  in 
previous  Exhibitions.  The  latter — the  social — which  might 
almost,  in  the  far-reaching  scope  here  given  to  it,  be  called 
the  moral  part  of  the  Exhibition,  receives  at  Chicago  a 
prominent  and  peculiar  consideration. 

Moreover,  under  this  second  head,  the  department  of 
Women's  Work  takes  its  place  for  the  first  time,  and  both  on 
that  account,  and  by  reason  of  the  special  regard  given  to 
Philanthropy,  much  of  the  deeper  and  more  lasting  interest 
excited  by  this  great  Exhibition,  will,  I  think,  gather  round 
the  Section  for  which  this  Report  has  been  prepared.  It  is 
fitting  that  the  close  of  the  nineteenth  century  should  focus 
and  illustrate  in  a  definite  form  the  share  which  women  have 
taken  in  its  development,  of  which,  in  my  humble  judgment, 
the  truest  and  noblest,  because  the  most  natural,  part,  is  to 
be  found  in  philanthropic  work. 

The  scheme  of  this  Section  has  been  so  generally  made 
known,  that  it  is  only  necessary  formally  to  record  in  the 
case  of  Great  Britain,  that,  having  been  invited  by  the 
Royal  Commission  to  act  on  its  Ladies'  Committee,  I  was 
further  requested  by  her  Royal  Highness  the  Princess 


x  Preface. 

Christian  of  Schleswig-Holstein,  President  of  the  Committee, 
to  make  a  Report  of  Philanthropic  Work  promoted  or 
originated  by  Englishwomen. 

It  appears  to  me,  however,  due  to  the  readers  of  the 
Report  that  they  should  receive  a  short  explanation  of  the 
method  pursued  for  obtaining  accurate  information,  as  well 
as  of  the  sources  from  which  it  was  derived. 

The  Report  consists  of  two  portions,  the  one  this  volume 
printed  and  published  for  general  circulation,  the  other  a 
series  of  type-written  reports,  bound  up  in  five  volumes, 
which  will  remain  in  the  Section  for  reference  and  perusal. 
Briefly,  it  may  be  stated  that  these  latter  volumes  form  the 
basis  of  the  Report,  as  they  contain  the  whole  body  of  in- 
formation in  the  form  in  which  it  has  been  derived  directly 
from  authoritative  sources.  The  printed  volume  embodies 
and  deals  with  the  information  thus  obtained  in  a  series  of 
papers  intended  for  the  Congress,  which  have  been  written 
by  ladies  whose  ability  and  experience  have  enabled  them 
not  only  to  deal  with  the  many  important  questions  under 
notice,  but  to  supplement  the  material  contained  in  the  typed 
reports  with  additional  information  derived  from  personal 

To  obtain  the  typed  reports,  a  letter,  a  copy  of  which 
will  be  found  at  the  end  of  this  volume,  was  addressed  not 
only  to  the  heads  of  all  Religious  Communions,  and  of  all 
the  principal  Philanthropic,  Social,  and  Charitable  Institu- 
tions, but  also  to  those  who  were  known  to  be  working 
either  in  smaller  bodies,  or  even  single-handed,  for  kindred 
objects.  It  was  requested  that  information  of  women's 
work  should  be  supplied,  and  that  it  should  be  given  not  by 
means  of  printed  reports,  but  in  written  papers  personally 
signed.  This  request  was  most  kindly  responded  to,  and  the 
information  thus  procured  will  be  found  in  the  typed  volumes. 

In  this  connection  I  desire  to  express  my  deep  sense 
of  obligation  to  those  who  have  supplied  this  valuable 
material.  My  acknowledgments  are  especially  due  to  the 
Bishops  and  other  heads  of  religious  bodies.  With  respect  to 
these  and  to  many  other  contributors,  it  is  not  difficult  for  me 
to  thank  them  for  their  ready  response  to  my  request ;  but 
it  is  not  so  easy  justly  to  measure  the  sacrifice  of  time  taken 

Preface.  xi 

from  busy  lives,  and  the  labour  required  to  supply  the  details, 
which  have  made  it  possible  for  me  to  draw  together  the 
varied  but  harmonious  chords  of  energy,  and  to  combine  the 
distinct  but  confluent  channels  of  benefit,  so  as  to  tell  some- 
thing of  the  story  of  Women's  Work  in  England.  These 
reports,  broadly  speaking,  have  been  received  from  the 
following  sources : — 

(I.)  Reports  of  the  Churches  of  England,  Ireland,  and 
Scotland ;  the  Moravian  Church  ;  the  Presbyterian  Church 
of  Scotland ;  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  ;  Congregational 
organizations  ;  Report  of  the  Chief  Rabbi  of  the  Jewish 
Communion  ;  the  Society  of  Friends  : — these  are  the  reports 
of  the  largest  English  philanthropic  associations,  whose 
branches  are  scattered  throughout  the  world. 

(II.)  Reports  from  charitable  or  social  bodies  whose  work 
is  to  be  found  in  London  or  the  great  towns. 

(III.)  Individual  efforts  for  philanthropic  objects.  This 
section  will  be  found  to  embrace  many  notable  examples  of 
individual  energy,  thoughtfulness,  and  kindness. 

Having  obtained  this  large  body  of  information  in  the 
manner  described,  the  somewhat  difficult  question  arose  how 
best  to  present  it  to  the  public  in  a  form  in  which  its 
salient  features  could  be  most  easily  grasped,  and  its  matter 
systematically  grouped,  while,  at  the  same  time,  its  wide 
scope  should  be  brought  under  general  observation.  It  was 
open  to  me  either  to  edit  and  publish  the  original  matter  as 
it  stood,  or  to  redistribute  and  then  summarize  it,  on  some 
approved  plan  of  analysis  and  classification.  The  first 
method  would,  I  fear,  have  left  the  public  somewhat  be- 
wildered by  a  mass  of  undigested  matter  ;  to  the  latter,  which 
promised  some  advantages,  there  lay  the  serious  objection, 
that  much  of  the  directness,  freshness,  and  originality  to 
which  I  have  already  referred,  would  have  been  converted 
more  or  less  into  the  dry  husks  and  formality  of  an  official 
report.  I  have,  therefore,  rejected  both  of  these  methods ; 
but,  in  order  that  the  readers  of  this  book  should  have  some 
idea  of  the  extent  and  variety  of  the  material  afforded  by 
the  typed  reports,  I  have  added,  in  the  form  of  an  Appendix, 
a  brief  summary  of  the  series,  together  with  some  observa- 
tions of  my  own  suggested  by  their  perusal. 

xii  Preface. 

It  appeared  to  me  that  in  the  process  of  classification  into 
subjects,  the  original  contributions  should  be  touched  by 
not  only  qualified  and  experienced,  but  sympathetic  hands. 
The  typed  reports  were  therefore  arranged  in  groups,  and, 
with  few  exceptions,  each  of  these  was  submitted  to  some 
lady  possessing  special  knowledge  of  the  particular  subject, 
and  personal  experience  of  the  work  falling  under  it,  who 
would  be  able  to  extract  the  virtue,  and  as  far  as  possible 
embody  the  information,  contained  in  the  reports,  in  the  form 
of  a  paper  written  on  a  subject  long  thought  over  and  studied 
by  the  writer. 

To  these  ladies,  the  authoresses  of  the  Congress  Papers, 
I  offer  my  warmest  acknowledgments  for  the  great  service 
they  have  rendered  to  their  country,  whose  philanthropic 
work  will  be  under  review  at  Chicago ;  to  the  cause  of 
philanthropy,  which  owes  so  much  to  the  aid  of  the  publicist ; 
and  lastly,  if  I  may  mention  it,  to  myself,  of  whose  responsi- 
bility in  this  important  work  they  have  thus  generously 
undertaken  so  large  a  share. 

The  Sections  had  necessarily  to  be  large,  and  the  classi- 
fication elastic ;  for  the  subjects,  in  spite  of  the  endeavour  to 
give  a  solidarity  to  each,  necessarily  overlap  one  another, 
as,  indeed,  most  of  the  associations,  societies,  and  charities, 
do  in  actual  life,  while  each  retains  its  definite  character. 
Whatever  cross  divisions  may  be  apparent  in  the  work- 
ing of  the  units  of  a  group,  or  of  the  groups  in  relation 
to  one  another,  there  is  one  feature  which  cannot  but  be 
recognized — the  unity  of  feeling  and  of  purpose  which  per- 
vades all  these  philanthropic  efforts,  directed  to  the  amelio- 
ration, in  the  highest  sense  of  the  word,  of  the  lives  of  our 
fellow-beings.  Union  in  effecting  the  purpose  may  or  may 
not  be  found  ;  but  unity  and  piety  of  purpose  pervade  the 
whole.  And  if  an  exact  incidence  of  benefit  from  philan- 
thropic effort  cannot  be  arrived  at  in  the  treatment  of  phases 
of  need,  still  less  is  it  possible  to  classify  it  by  periods  or  ages 
of  life.  It  is  a  law  of  nature.  As  the  trees  and  flowers  grow 
imperceptibly,  so  in  human  life  infancy  gently  unfolds  child- 
hood, and  the  child  blossoms  into  the  girl,  and  girlhood  passes 
into  responsible  womanhood.  Sharp  distinctions  between 
good  and  evil  may  be  more  or  less  essential  in  practice ;  each 

Preface.  xiii 

association  for  the  welfare  of  these  different  periods  may  have 
its  own  rules  and  management  But  in  a  comprehensive  view 
all  down  the  lines  mapped  out  for  philanthropic  effort,  from 
the  cradle  to  the  grave,  this  overlapping  of  periods  and  these 
irregular  edges  projecting  into  one  another's  territory  are 
lost  to  sight,  or  at  least  become  insignificant  in  view  of  the 
common  philanthropic  purpose  which  pervades  the  whole. 
Collectively,  as  I  have  said,  these  may  in  their  treatment 
overlap,  but  therein  they  bear  all  the  truer  likeness  to  the 
work  they  describe. 

•  The  reports  furnished  from  England  and  Scotland,  and 
most  conspicuously  from  Ireland,  which  deal  with  endeavours 
to  improve  the  condition  and  cheer  the  toils  of  daily  life, 
are  rendered  more  interesting  by  the  fact  that  they  are 
illustrated  by  a  collection  of  samples  of  the  objects  made, 
and  the  work  done,  which  will  be  found  in  the  Section  of  the 
Woman's  Building  allotted  to  this  subject,  where  a  special 
catalogue  of  the  Section  can  be  obtained.  These  material 
objects — albeit  of  trifling  value — tell  many  a  story,  in  lan- 
guage more  eloquent  than  words,  of  how  single  individuals, 
setting  to  work  with  heart  and  mind,  and  pursuing  the  effort 
with  courage  and  tact,  can  conquer  the  obstacles  presented 
by  an  isolated  and  resourceless  district,  by  an  ignorant  and 
untrained  population,  by  an  apathy  and  idleness  arising 
mainly  from  the  want  of  hopeful  inspiration  and  skilled 
guidance.  They  are  so  many  proofs,  these  little  pieces  of 
handiwork,  of  the  industry  and  cleverness  which  lie  buried 
in  the  poorest  classes,  and  the  effective  materialization  of 
which  is  one  of  the  best  and  most  reproductive  objects  to 
which  philanthropic  effort  can  be  applied.  For  the  work 
required  in  the  production  does  not  end  with  the  object 
produced ;  and  the  reward  is  not  to  be  measured  by  the  little 
wage  given  in  return,  in  itself  often  an  appreciable  help  to 
the  scanty  resources  of  a  struggling  family.  It  carries  on 
into  the  future ;  it  implies  that  the  hand  which  hitherto  was 
idle  has  been  trained  to  execute,  and  the  eye  to  select  and 
discriminate.  The  mind  as  well  as  the  body  has  learnt  the 
habit  of  work,  the  whole  morale  of  the  individual  is  braced 
and  trained.  And  it  should  be  remembered  that  these  simple 
industrial  productions  shown  in  this  Section,  apart  from,  or 

xiv  Preface. 

rather  coincident  with,  the  material  benefit,  have  done  much 
to  create  that  spirit  of  confidence,  self-reliance,  and  inde- 
pendence, without  which  no  community  can  legitimately  take 
its  place  amongst  a  free  people. 

In  reviewing  the  wide  array  of  benevolent  enterprise  pre- 
sented by  the  reports,  it  is  impossible  not  to  be  deeply 
impressed  by  the  vast  number  and  variety  of  the  under- 
takings described.  They  seem  to  reach  into  the  farthest 
limits,  and  to  effect  a  just  incidence  of  philanthropy  over  all 
the  area  of  human  need.  So  great  have  been  the  changes 
in  the  conditions  of  the  life  and  work  of  the  people  of 
England  during  the  last  seventy  years,  that  the  new  forms 
and  channels  through  which  ameliorating  efforts  reach  them 
would  almost  seem  to  justify  the  common  impression  that 
care  for  the  poor  and  suffering  springs  from  new  impulses 
of  the  present  century.  But  that  idea  cannot  be  held  with 
justice  to  those  who  have  gone  before  us,  or  without  forget- 
ting that  the  same  kindly  feelings  that  work  to  such  noble 
effect  in  the  Englishwoman  of  to-day  animated  the  English- 
women of  yesterday.  It  is  certain  that  they  did.  The  only 
difference  is  that  duty  and  kindliness  had  then  to  work 
under  very  different  conditions,  in  very  different  circum- 
stances, from  those  that  prevail  now ;  and  those  circum- 
stances and  conditions  being  bygone  and  forgotten,  the  good 
that  was  done  in  them  is  in  danger  of  being  forgotten  too. 
Some  of  the  more  important  labours  of  philanthropy  would 
have  been  impossible  at  any  point  of  time  other  than  that 
at  which  they  were  accomplished — that  is  to  say,  in  compara- 
tively recent  years  ;  but  even  of  these  it  may  be  said,  in  most 
cases,  that  they  are  but  the  continuation  and  development, 
under  altered  and  more  effective  conditions,  of  a  benevolence 
that  deserves  to  be  called  historical. 

To  obtain  a  complete  view  of  the  matter,  many  things 
have  to  be  considered  ;  but  none,  I  think,  with  more  attention 
than  the  greater  domesticity  of  country  life  when  rural  Eng- 
land was  a  larger  and  more  influential  England  than  it  has 
since  become  in  comparison  with  the  towns.  Within  a  com- 
paratively recent  period,. London  was  not  invariably  the  main, 
nor  is  it  now  the  only  governing,  centre  of  opinion  and  social 

Preface.  xv 

life.  The  country  life  and  thought  was  still  a  great  factor 
in  all  that  concerned  the  nation.  Since  the  end  of  the  Great 
War,  and  up  to  about  sixty  years  ago,  country  life  in  England 
had  changed  but  little ;  and  it  is  easy  to  trace  the  origin  of 
many  a  great  work  of  charity  in  the  ordinary  domestic  habi- 
tudes of  the  manor  house,  or  in  those  of  the  more  "  stately 
homes  of  England,"  to  use  the  words  of  a  gifted  woman  and 
popular  writer  now  no  more  amongst  us.  In  their  own  way, 
and  according  to  the  conditions  and  demands  of  the  time, 
these  houses  fulfilled  many  of  the  charitable  duties  which  are 
as  often  as  not  called  Missions  in  our  own  day.  Standing 
in  the  midst  of  properties  which  in  pre-railway  times  were 
more  often  like  distinct  little  settlements,  moved  by  a  con- 
scious sense  of  responsibility,  influencing  in  turn  their  villages 
and  groups  of  farms,  they  formed  centres  of  thought  and 
consideration  for  all  within  a  certain  area  about  them  ;  dis- 
pensing the  kindnesses  that  are  now  recognized  under  the 
broad  word  Philanthropy.  The  ladies  who  presided  over 
these  homes  lived  under  the  influence  of  traditional  duties, 
which  they  accepted  as  part  of  their  inheritance,  but  which 
were  essentially  the  same  as  those  now  undertaken  by  their 
descendants  in  a  much  wider  field  and  affecting  far  greater 
numbers  of  their  fellow-creatures. 

It  will  illustrate  my  meaning  to  take  the  bringing  up  and 
training  of  young  girls,  which  is  as  important  to  the  social 
welfare  of  the  nation  as  anything  that  can  be  named.  The 
manor-house,  the  "  great  house,'*  or  whatever  it  should  be 
called,  was  in  effect  a  training  school  for  young  servants. 
Taken  from  the  village  or  the  farmstead,  they  were  variously 
employed  in  the  kitchen,  the  laundry,  and  the  dairy ;  they 
were  instructed  in  needlework  as  well  as  practised  in  all 
manner  of  domestic  duties  ;  and  this  training,  carried  on 
under  many  obvious  advantages,  was  either  superintended 
by  the  mistress  or  by  an  experienced  housekeeper,  who 
answered  to  the  Matron  in  our  present  institutions,  without 
being  at  all  behind  her  in  efficiency  and  character.  Here, 
too,  many  a  growing  lad  found  instructive  employment  under 
the  gardeners,  or  in  the  carpenter's  shop  or  the  smithy 
belonging  to  the  house.  The  children  of  dependents  and 
poor  neighbours  were  taught  respect  for  religion,  attended 

xvi  Preface. 

the  same  church,  participated  in  the  same  rites,  and  shared 
the  simple  piety  of  those  over  them ;  finally  resting  in  the 
old  churchyard,  where  their  progenitors,  rich  and  poor,  had 
been  laid  before  them.  Social  and  domestic  habits,  and  even 
manners — a  small  but  not  unimportant  matter — were  not 
neglected.  The  kitchens  of  such  houses  were  no  inapt 
representatives  of  our  soup  kitchens,  or  the  free  dinners 
and  breakfasts,  and  the  dinners  for  sick  persons,  which  now 
supplement  those  institutions.  In  severe  winters,  or  when 
times  were  hard,  the  manor-house  kitchen  was  a  sure  refuge 
from  distress.  Of  course  there  were  exceptionally  bad  times 
then  as  now  to  increase  the  number  of  the  unemployed  ;  on 
those  occasions  pains  were  taken  to  find  "  odd  jobs  "  about 
the  estate,  and  works  were  begun  which  there  was  no  crying 
need  for.  And  what  was  true  of  the  greater  houses  was  true 
in  all  these  particulars  of  the  better  sort  of  farmsteads ;  of 
course  with  a  difference,  but  more  a  difference  of  the  means 
of  living  on  a  helpful  domestic  system  than  of  disposition 
or  habit.  In  the  well-to-do  farmhouse  it  was  as  easy  to 
learn  "  the  art  of  making  home  happy  "  as  in  any  of  the 
institutions  for  which  there  is  now  so  much  need  in  our 
crowded  towns  with  their  factory  life  and  education.  What 
we  now  know  as  Women's  Technical  Arts — such  as  needle- 
work, cookery,  dairy-management,  cheese-making, — did  more 
than  enter  into  the  education  of  the  poorer  girls  of  that  day ; 
they  formed  it.  Subjects  of  instruction  were  familiar  which 
are  now  so  little  considered  that  some  of  our  most  anxious 
inquirers  fear  they  may  die  out  altogether ;  a  prospect  which 
cannot  be  separated  from  the  question  of  women's  wages  and 
the  comfort  of  poor  homes.  Nor  was  the  stir  of  excitement 
wanting  to  country  life.  The  amusements  were  eagerly 
taken  up,  and  both  shared  and  promoted  by  gentlefolk. 
Sixty  years  ago,  when  public  questions  of  enormous  interest 
were  engrossing  men's  minds,  there  was  certainly  no  lack  of 
political  animation  in  the  provinces,  where  discussion  was 
often  carried  on  during  the  summer  and  winter  months  upon 
subjects  that  afterwards  came  into  prominence  in  London. 
The  old-fashioned  libraries  which  were  always  to  be  found  in 
the  greater  country  houses  quietly  fostered  tastes  and 
opinions  in  the  minds  of  boy  and  girl  readers,  and  were 

Preface.  xvii 

thus  silently  moulding  the  opinions  and  history  of  the 
future.  The  country  bookseller  was  a  much  more  important 
person,  and  far  more  bookish,  than  his  successor ;  and  the 
history  of  Norwich  illustrates  the  way  in  which  provincial 
centres  of  independent  taste  and  intellectual  activity  could 
exist,  and  did  exist,  to  make  their  influence  felt  far  beyond 
the  radius  of  a  country  town.  The  education  of  women,  in 
the  scholastic  meaning  of  the  phrase,  was  perhaps  inferior 
to  that  which  the  present  generation  enjoys,  but  in  the  wider 
sense  of  education  it  may  be  doubtful  whether  it  was  so. 
And  certainly  it  is  a  mistake  to  suppose  that  the  better- 
educated  women  were  less  instructed  than  their  brothers. 
Besides,  whether  for  men  or  women,  good  education  is  not 
all  scholastic  ;  and  more  was  learnt  in  the  old  country  homes 
of  England  than  most  remember,  or  than  many  seem  willing 
to  believe.  From  such  a  home  came  "  the  Lady  with  the 
Lamp,"  the  name  by  which  Miss  Nightingale  was  known  to 
our  soldiers  in  the  Crimea ;  and  by  her,  as  well  as  by  other 
women  who  have  stepped  from  a  like  seclusion  with  a  similar 
devotedness,  the  lamp  has  been  held  by  no  unsteady  hands. 

To  this  hour,  and  all  over  the  country,  there  are  a  thousand 
little  centres  of  benevolence  which  find  no  record  here,  nor 
indeed  anywhere  else,  if  not  in  the  book  of  the  Recording 
Angel.  The  fortunes  of  the  squirearchy  have  fallen  very 
much,  but  the  mansion  and  the  manor-house  have  not  given 
up  the  old  kindly  duties,  while  in  every  town,  and  in  every 
parish  of  the  greater  towns,  you  may  find  little  coteries  of 
good  women  who  work  together  for  the  poor  and  helpless 
about  them  without  a  thought  of  dignifying  their  quiet  labours 
by  carrying  them  on  under  the  name  of  Society  or  Associa- 
tion. And  in  the  earlier  days  of  which  I  have  been  speaking 
there  was  no  such  scope,  no  such  freedom  for  the  working 
of  great  benevolent  associations  as  there  is  to-day.  The 
survey  of  charitable  effort  which  this  report  supplies  carries 
us  back  over  a  period  of  sixty  years.  Great  and  swift  have 
been  the  changes  since  1830,  and  these,  so  far  as  they  affect  our 
subject,  where  they  have  enlarged  the  need  of  philanthropic 
activity,  have  at  the  same  time  extended  its  means  and 
multiplied  its  channels  of  operation.  Especially  have  these 
changes  worked  in  the  direction  of  giving  a  collective  form 

xviii  Preface. 

to  efforts  which  were  formerly  left  to  individuals.  Till  the 
mutual  intolerance  of  religious  feeling  began  to  soften,  and 
the  barriers  of  religious  disability  broke  down  (and  we  must 
go  back  just  beyond  the  Thirties  for  these  beginnings), 
united  action  amongst  the  members  of  different  religious 
communities  for  a  common  good  was  hardly  known  except 
as  the  outcome  of  personal  friendship  or  political  sympathy. 
Intercommunication  beyond  a  limited  area  was  comparatively 
difficult,  tedious,  and  costly  ;  for  the  railway  system  had  yet 
to  cover  the  land,  while  the  postal  service  was  still  such  that 
members  of  Parliament  could  raise  smiles  or  tears  by  giving 
or  refusing  one  of  their  twelve  coveted  franks.  Even  in  the 
cities  the  means  of  communication  were  very  poor  and  very 
dear.  There  were  no  cabs,  no  shilling  fares  (I  believe)  by 
the  dismal  old  hackney  coaches,  no  omnibus  had  yet  been 
seen  in  the  streets,  and  the  tramway  was  undreamt  of. 
The  stir  in  favour  of  organized  popular  education,  as  of 
other  organized  endeavours  for  the  welfare  of  the  poorer 
classes  of  the  people,  was  at  its  beginning,  with  all  that 
was  to  flow  from  it ;  and  the  Poor-law  of  Elizabeth,  with  its 
many  abuses,  remained  unamended.  It  was  in  1834  that, 
after  long  and  strenuous  discussion,  the  new  Act  for  the 
Relief  of  the  Poor  was  substituted  for  what  must  be  regarded 
as  the  first  legislative  establishment  of  the  right  of  helpless 
poverty  (it  had  been  acknowledged  in  the  reign  of  Henry 
VIII.)  to  State  Aid.  At  that  time  the  discussion  of  the  Corn 
Laws  and  the  question  of  their  abolition  had  yet  to  throw 
light  on  the  rising  growth  of  the  towns  and  their  increasing 
population  and  influence  as  compared  with  those  of  the  rural 
districts.  But  here  again  we  come  in  view  of  the  agencies 
that  have  so  entirely  changed  the  conditions  of  social  life 
in  England  within  the  last  sixty  years — changes,  as  I  have 
already  said,  which  have  made  organized  philanthropic  effort 
on  a  broad  scale  comparatively  easy,  where  before  it  was 
very  difficult  and  not  so  much  required.  The  invention  of 
steam  machinery  filled  many  a  little  town  with  factories, 
soon  making  of  them  crowded  cities,  and  cities  where  home 
life  was  sacrificed  to  the  factory  by  the  common  employment 
of  husband,  wife,  and  child  at  the  machine,  and  also  by  the 
multiplication  of  close  and  crowded  tenements.  In  like 

Preface.  xix 

manner,  small  seaports  became  great  commercial  cities,  while 
great  commercial  cities  took  in  still  denser  populations.  It 
is  in  crowds  like  these  that  humanity,  sympathy,  fellowship, 
and  that  most  excellent  thing,  decent  pride,  are  most  likely 
to  be  lost,  and  that  some  of  the  most  unhappy  weaknesses 
of  our  nature  are  encouraged  to  run  riot.  It  is  not  in  my 
mind  to  underrate  the  enormous  blessings  of  the  growth  of 
trade  consequent  on  the  discovery  of  the  uses  of  steam  ; 
and  how  large  a  share  of  those  blessings  fall  to  the  poor  is 
shown  by  one  fact  alone,  which  is  not  much  considered, 
namely,  that  an  immense  middle  class,  vast  in  number  and 
extremely  well-to-do,  has  arisen  out  of  the  ranks  of  the 
artisan  and  manufacturing  class  since  Watt's  tea-kettle  filled 
his  head  with  dreams.  But  if  good  came  in  the  mass,  so  did 
its  attendant  evil.  There  was  the  overcrowding ;  there  was 
the  feverishness  of  factory  work  in  close  rooms ;  there  was 
the  temptation  to  spirit-drinking  as  a  goad  to  exhausted 
energy ;  there  was  the  dissociation  of  labour  from  nature,  and 
from  common  human  sympathies  except  such  as  could  be 
found  by  each  in  the  narrow  circle  in  which  he  and  his  fellow- 
workers  moved  ;  and,  not  to  speak  of  other  evils  that  breed 
in  crowded  ports  and  reeking  towns,  there  was  the  destruction 
of  homely  life  and  of  the  stamina  of  the  race  by  the  absorption 
of  whole  families  into  the  mill — men,  women,  and  children, 
the  "hands"  of  the  factory.  Individual  influence,  working 
locally,  was  quite  incompetent  to  remedy  such  evils  as 
these,  except  as  it  succeeded  in  amassing  powerful  machinery 
of  its  own.  It  was  in  this  way  that  Lord  Shaftesbury 
worked  when  he  brought  together  such  a  body  of  facts,  and 
enlisted  so  strong  a  force  of  sympathy  both  in  "all  the 
Churches "  and  in  popular  opinion,  as  not  only  insured  the 
passing  of  the  Factory  Bill,  but  awakened  a  sentiment  against 
the  labour  of  women  and  young  children  in  factory  employ- 
ments that  has  never  flagged  since.  That,  however,  is  but 
one  illustration  of  the  growing  need  for  organized  philan- 
thropic effort.  The  changed  conditions  of  social  life,  the 
actual  creation  of  new  classes — some  struggling  upward, 
others  plunging  down — brought  out  the  need  in  a  hundred 
shapes  ;  while  the  same  changed  conditions  strongly  favoured 
such  organization  in  many  ways.  Every  form  of  communi- 

xx  Preface. 

cation  was  quickened,  including  the  communication  of  know- 
ledge, of  discovery,  of  sympathy  ;  and  the  whole  result  has 
been  the  establishment  of  countless  beneficent  associations 
of  which  the  following  pages  speak  in  general  and  illustrate 
in  detail. 

These  few  words  of  introduction  will  not  be  misappre- 
hended. Their  intention  is  to  remind  the  reader  that  there 
are  links  of  continuity  between  past  and  present  here  as  else- 
where. The  good  work  that  women  now  do  in  association 
was  done  of  old  from  many  little  trivial  centres  of  family  life, 
in  the  quiet,  unimposing  way  which  those  times  permitted, 
and  which  satisfied  them.  Though  rarely  exhibited  in  united 
action,  piety  and  charity,  now  combined  in  the  beautiful  word 
"  Philanthropy,"  have  run  through  the  national  life  in  golden 
threads  from  long-past  centuries  to  our  own  day  ;  and  women 
have  always  had  a  full,  perhaps  an  unrecognized,  share  in 
maintaining  and  continuing  works  of  mercy.  To  women  the 
country  owes  many  of  its  educational  foundations.  Hospitals 
and  almshouses  have  been  generously  endowed  by  them.  The 
records  of  old  doles,  orphan  charities,  and  other  pious  bene- 
factions carry  their  names,  connecting  the  feeling  of  protection 
for  the  young  and  comfort  for  the  old  which  is  the  spring  of 
so  much  benevolent  action  in  our  time.  Two  of  the  most 
beneficent  Acts  of  Parliament  are  specially  associated  with 
the  names  of  sovereigns  who  were  women — Elizabeth's  Law 
for  the  Poor,  and  Queen  Anne's  Bounty.  Both  Acts  bear 
the  impress  of  having  received  the  personal  and  particular 
attention  of  these  queens,  and  both  have  exercised  a  strong 
influence  on  subsequent  legislation,  and  on  the  mind  of  the 

Any  record  of  the  women  of  the  Victorian  Era  would  be 
wanting  if  the  name  of  the  Queen  were  omitted  from  its 
pages.  Her  Majesty  stands  foremost  in  its  history  as 
sovereign,  and  also  as  representative  philanthropist.  During 
the  long  years  of  her  reign  every  effort  for  good  and  Christian 
work  has  obtained  the  Queen's  personal  attention  and  sanc- 
tion, and  when,  on  the  completion  of  her  Jubilee,  the  women 
of  the  United  Kingdom  of  every  class,  from  the  pauper  in 
the  workhouse  to  the  highest  in  the  land,  poured  out  their 
tribute,  this  event  was  chronicled  and  embodied  in  an 

Preface.  xxi 

enduring  material  form  by  the  foundation  of  the  Institute 
for  Nurses  which  her  Majesty  organized,  and  to  which  she 
devoted  the  thousands  which  her  countrywomen  and  subjects 
had  offered. 

I  venture  to  hope  that,  however  inadequate  to  the 
importance  of  the  subject  these  opening  remarks  may  seem 
to  be,  this  volume  of  Papers,  together  with  the  concluding 
analysis  and  notes  of  the  original  reports  on  which  they  are 
based,  will  not  be  unwelcome  in  the  country  for  which  it  is 
written.  My  personal  feeling  and  knowledge  have  led  me 
to  believe  that  the  past  and  present  work  of  Englishwomen 
would  have  for  the  American  people  an  attraction  exceeding 
any  felt  by  other  nations,  however  interested  these  may  be 
in  a  common  charity. 

In  an  unusual  degree  the  blood  of  many  races  runs  in  our 
veins  ;  but  we  are  bound  together  in  the  one  historic  record 
of  the  English-speaking  peoples.  One  language  unites  us  ; 
one  Bible,  one  literature.  The  poetry  and  prose  of  past 
centuries,  and  the  first  achievements  of  Englishmen  in  the 
dim  twilight  of  scientific  discovery,  are  a  common  heritage  of 
both  nations.  In  the  past  fifty  years  the  genius  of  both, 
sometimes  divided,  sometimes  intermingled,  has"  kept  the 
light  burning.  To  the  sacred  lamp  of  literature  American 
authors  have  added  a  peculiar  radiance  of  their  own,  and  the 
field  of  discovery  and  invention  has  been  illuminated  by  the 
splendid  achievements  of  American  research.  And  as  in 
these  two  great  branches  of  progress  we  are  at  once  co- 
inheritors  and  fellow-workers,  so  the  philanthropic  work  of 
Englishwomen,  commingled  by  practice  and  example  with 
the  work  of  American  women,  must,  I  feel,  have  an  absorbing 
interest  for  those  who,  like  ourselves,  have  drawn  their 
national  being  from  the  Anglo-Saxon  race. 


LONDON,  March,  1893. 



LETTER      TO      H.R.H.      PRINCESS       CHRISTIAN       OF 

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN         ...         v 

PREFACE.    By  the  BARONESS  BURDETT-COUTTS      ...  ...       ix 

"THE  WORK  OF  WOMAN'S   HAND."    A  Poem.     By  Mrs. 
ALEXANDER      ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...        i 


AIR."    By  Mrs.  MOLESWORTH        ...  ...       13 


By  Miss  E.  SELLERS       ...  ...  ...  ...  ...       35 



BROOKE-HUNT...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...      56 

THE      RESPONSIBILITIES     OF      MOTHERS.       By    Mrs. 

SUMNER  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...        65 


G.  A.  SALA        ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...      72 


COUNTESS  COMPTON      ...  ...  ...  ...  ...      79 

EMIGRATION.    By  Hon.  Mrs.  STUART  WORTLEY     ...  ...      87 


FORMED.    By  Mrs.  CHARLES  GARNETT  ...  ...      93 


Miss  MARSH     ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...    106 

WOMEN'S      WORK     IN      CONNECTION     WITH      THE 

CHURCH  OF  ENGLAND.    By  Mrs.  BOYD  CARPENTER  ...    in 

ON    THE    ASSOCIATED    WORK    OF    WOMEN    IN    RE. 


xxiv  Contents. 



Miss  MARY  H.  STEER  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  149 

WORK  AMONG  SOLDIERS.    By  Miss  ANNE  BEALE          ...  160 

WORK  AMONG  SAILORS.    By  Miss  AGNES  E.  WESTON    ...  167 


By  the  Authoress  of  "  The  Schonberg-Cotta  Family  "  ...     178 

SICK- NURSING    AND     HEALTH- NURSING.      By    Miss 

FLORENCE  NIGHTINGALE  ...  ...  ...  ...     184 


VICTORIA  LAMBTON  and  Mrs.  MALLESON  ...  ...    206 

ON   NURSING.    By  the  HON.  Mrs.  STUART  WORTLEY        ...    216 




By  Mrs.  GILBERT  (Rosa  Mulholland)         ...  ...  ...     228 


POOR.    By  Miss  E.  S.  LIDGETT  ...  ...  ...    248 

THE   HISTORY   OF    WORKHOUSE    REFORM.      By   Miss 
LOUISA  TWINING          ...  ...  ...  ...  ...    265 


HUBBARD  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...      273 

WOMAN    THE    MISSIONARY    OF    INDUSTRY.      By  the 

BARONESS  BURDETT-COUTTS      ...  ...  ...  ...    284 

SERVING  ONE    ANOTHER.      By  Miss  PETRIE,  B.A.          ...     300 


SCIENCE.    By  Miss  FANNY  L.  CALDER  ...  ...    317 

MOLOGY.   By  the  BARONESS  BURDETT-COUTTS  ...    323 

WOMAN'S  WORK  FOR  ANIMALS.     By  the  Hon.  Mrs.  MuiR 

MACKENZIE      ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...    329 


COLONIES  AND   THE   EAST.    By  Mrs.  CASHEL  HOEY    334 


HUBBARD         ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...    361 


APPENDIX  ...  ...  ...  ...  ...  -6g 

INDEX        463 



As  waves  that  smile  at  morn  are  weak 
To  show  wild  ocean  tempest  stirred, 

So,  feebly  does  expression  speak, 

So  far  the  theme  transcends  the  word. 

For  words  from  depths  of  fancy  brought 
Faint  echoes  are,  though  sweet  or  strong, 

And  he  who  singeth  all  his  thought 
Will  never  rouse  the  world  with  song. 

Theme  beyond  thought !  in  mystery  steeped, 
The  living  Love  that  walked  of  yore, 

Where  Hermon  stood,  and  Jordan  leaped 
Against  his  vine-empurpled  shore  ; 

That  thrilled  a  slumbering  world,  and  broke 
The  chain  that  fettered  woman's  life, 

And  to  a  nobler  purpose  woke 

Her, — toy  of  ease,  or  cause  of  strife. 

The  beauty  and  the  strength  He  gave, 
The  love  refined  that  shed  the  nard, 

The  courage  that  could  watch  His  grave 
Regardless  of  the  Roman  guard. 

Woman's  Mission. 

And  still  she  holds  her  precious  gifts, 
Hath  smiles  to  cheer,  and  charm  to  win, 

The  heart  that  feels,  the  hand  that  lifts, 
The  foot  that  seeks  the  haunts  of  sin. 

Not  alms  profuse  at  random  thrown, 

Not  class  'gainst  class  her  lip  would  teach 

But  brave  self-help,  sweet  mercy  shown, 
And  free  dependence  each  on  each  ; 

And  honest  toil  that  need  supplies, 

God's  first  best  gift  to  man's  right  hand, 

When  forfeit  of  his  Paradise 

He  wandered  forth  to  till  the  land. 

Now  to  that  World's  Show  o'er  the  sea 
She  saith,  "  O  man,  I  send  my  share — 

The  needle's  delicate  tracery, 
The  fresh  design,  the  fabric  fair. 

"  I  bring  my  best  of  hand,  and  loom, 
From  teeming  cities  thronged  of  men, 

From  Highland  hills  enwrapt  in  gloom, 
From  English  glade  and  Irish  glen." 

Load  the  good  ship,  and  speed  her  well, 
Beyond  old  England's  furthest  rock, 

And  those  grey  cliffs  that  sentinel 
lerne  'gainst  the  billow's  shock  ! 

Across  the  wide  uncultured  plain, 
The  brown  Atlantic  lone,  and  vast, 

That  swells,  and  sinks,  and  swells  again 
And  whitens  as  she  hurries  past. 

Our  sisters  hear,  and  answering  pour 
Their  part ;  from  spice-embalmed  isle, 

Canadian  coast,  and  Indian  shore, 
And  where  Australian  pastures  smile. 

The   Work  of  Woman  s  Hand." 

So  bring  them  forth,  and  proudly  lay 
In  that  fair  place,  a  whole  world's  mart, 

Where  flow'rs  shall  bloom,  and  waters  play, 
And  powers  inventive  blend  with  art. 

Till  our  great  kindred  race  abroad 

And  wandering  men  from  many  a  land 

Shall  see  them  lie  'mid  gem  and  gaud, 
And  praise  the  work  of  woman's  hand. 


Woman 's  Mission. 


"  Flowers  of  Thy  Heart,  O  God,  are  they." 

THAT  women  should  work  for  children  is  as  natural  as  that 
the  sun  should  shine  or  the  rain  fall.  The  human  race,  in 
its  teeming  millions,  falls  generally  into  two  divisions :  men 
on  the  one  hand,  women  and  children  on  the  other.  Where 
women  have  their  rights,  childhood  is  happy.  In  every 
clime,  from  the  ice-bound  shores  of  the  Arctic  Ocean  to  the 
parched  deserts  of  the  Equator,  the  child  is  seen  beside  the 
woman,  clinging  to  her  as  his  natural  guardian.  She  is  at 
once  his  protector  and  nurse,  and  his  willing  slave.  Even 
when  the  burden  becomes  a  heavy  one,  the  child  is  borne  in 
the  arms  and  cherished  in  the  bosom  of  the  woman.  He 
withdraws  himself  from  her  only  when  he  enters  the  incipient 
stages  of  manhood  ;  and  the  heart  of  the  woman  aches  as  the 
child  is  lost  to  her. 

In  all  religions  which  have  attained  any  wide  sphere  of 
influence,  the  idea  of  the  Mother  and  Child  has  been  presented 
as  a  divine  one.  This  idea  almost  dominates  the  Christian 
religion.  In  many  lands  the  symbol  of  the  Mother  and 
Child  is  the  most  common  of  all  sacred  symbols.  The 
memory  of  the  infant  Christ  has  sanctified  childhood  for 
ever.  Henceforth,  in  all  Christian  countries,  no  child  can 
be  born  without  a  share  in  the  inheritance  of  the  common 
childhood  of  our  Lord. 

Therefore,  that  women  should  work  for  children  is  as 
natural  as  that  the  sun  should  shine  on  the  evil  and  on  the 
good.  But  for  the  last  half-century  there  have  been  more 

Women  s   Work  for  Children. 

combined  and  systematic  efforts  to  promote  the  welfare  of 
the  children  of  the  poor  than  were  ever  made  before.  In  the 
early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century  many  of  these  little  ones 
were  subjected  to  untold  misery  and  degradation.  They 
were  set  to  work  in  mines,  on  pit-banks,  in  factories,  in  fields  ; 
through  snow  and  frost  and  scorching  noontide  heat ;  in  foul 
atmosphere,  in  darkness ;  under  the  rule  of  brutal  task- 
masters. They  had  long  days  of  labour  and  short  nights  of 
rest ;  they  were  always  hungry  and  thirsty,  and  all  but 
naked ;  they  lived  in  terror  and  ignorance,  and  were  set  to 
revolting  and  dangerous  tasks.  Their  childhood  was  made 
a  hell  to  them,  from  which  they  could  only  escape  if  they 
were  strong  enough  to  grow  up  to  manhood.  I  can  remember, 
when  a  young  child,  seeing  a  boy  as  small  as  myself  descend 
from  our  kitchen  chimney,  covered  with  soot,  and  with  his 
elbows  and  knees  bleeding — a  terrific  sight  which  I  never 
forgot.  A  friend  of  mine,  whose  memory  goes  still  further 
back,  tells  me  he  recollects  the  time  when  the  children  of 
farm  labourers  in  the  West  of  England  were  taken  from 
their  mother  by  the  parish  authorities  at  the  age  of  eight 
years,  and  put  up  to  a  kind  of  auction,  where  the  bidder 
who  would  take  them  with  the  lowest  gratuity  could  have 
them  bound  to  him  as  apprentices  for  a  certain  number  of 
years.  The  suspense  of  the  mothers  until  they  knew  into 
whose  hands  their  little  child  would  fall,  and  their  anguish  if 
he  fell  into  bad  ones,  were  indescribable. 

It  is  not  my  purpose  to  name  all  the  women  who  have 
distinguished  themselves  by  their  care  of  children.  That 
would  be  impossible.  But  we  cannot  pass  over  the  work  of 
Hannah  More  and  her  sisters.  At  the  beginning  of  this 
century  these  unmarried  women,  five  in  number,  had  nearly 
one  thousand  children  in  their  schools  in  the  scattered 
Mendip  villages.  This  gave  an  impetus  to  the  education  of 
the  poor,  the  force  of  which  has  never  been  lost.  We  must 
also  remember  Elizabeth  Barrett  Browning's  "  Cry  of  the 
Children,"  which  rang  throughout  England  and  found  an 
echo  in  every  true  woman's  heart,  strengthening  mightily  the 
hands  of  those  who  were  seeking  to  do  away  with  child- 
labour  in  our  factories.  The  consciences  of  many  women 
were  then  awakened  and  have  never  slumbered  again.  Day 

Woman  s  Mission. 

by  day  their  eyes  are  growing  keener  to  discern  any  evil 
threatening  childhood,  and  their  ears  are  more  open  to  the 
least  sob  coming  through  childish  lips. 

The  actual  work  done  by  English  women  for  the  children 
of  the  poor  is  extremely  varied,  and  is  often  so  unobtrusively 
carried  on  that  it  cannot  be  tabulated.  We  can  speak  only 
of  the  larger  institutions,  which  send  out  annual  reports  ;  but 
for  every  one  of  these  there  are  a  number  of  small  and 
private  charities,  with  similar  objects  in  view,  which  are 
known  only  to  the  few  friends  and  subscribers  who  contribute 
to  their  support.  Homes  containing  ten  or  twelve  little  ones 
only,  are  scattered  throughout  the  land,  maintained  and 
superintended  by  ladies,  who  devote  a  large  portion  of  their 
leisure  to  them.  Here  and  there  a  school  of  wealthy  girls 
supports  such  a  home  out  of  their  pocket-money,  and  they 
are  entrusted  with  some  part  of  the  education  of  their  young 
charges.  Small  hospitals  and  convalescent  homes  are 
carried  on  in  the  same  way.  Ladies  receive  sick  children 
into  their  own  homes,  or  place  them  in  some  cottage  near  at 
hand  where  they  are  under  their  special  personal  supervision. 
These  small  unambitious  places  are  often  the  most  useful,  as 
they  create  a  close  and  intimate  knowledge  of  each  other 
between  the  giver  and  the  recipient  of  the  charity,  which 
large  institutions  cannot  give.  Reports  of  some  of  these 
small  homes  may  be  found  amongst  the  papers  forwarded 
to  Chicago,  which  can  be  read  by  those  interested  in  this 

The  absolute  helplessness  of  a  baby  makes,  perhaps,  the 
most  touching  appeal  that  reaches  a  woman's  heart.  We 
look  at  it,  "  an  infant,  with  no  language  but  a  cry,"  so  utterly 
cast  upon  another's  care ;  and  a  tenderness,  with  "  thoughts 
too  deep  for  tears,"  springs  up  in  the  innermost  recesses  of  the 
spirit.  Most  of  us  see  in  that  frail  form  the  shrine  of  an 
immortal  soul  which  our  Lord  has  ransomed.  All  of  us  see 
the  germ  of  a  life  which  may  prove  a  great  blessing  or  an 
equal  curse  to  the  human  race.  Woman's  work  begins  with 
the  child  in  its  cradle.  The  creche,  so  called  to  remind  us 
of  the  manger  in  which  lay  the  Babe  of  Bethlehem,  is  open 
to  meet  the  needs  of  the  babies  of  poverty-stricken  women 
who  are  the  bread-winners  of  their  families.  How  long  these 

Women  s  Work  for  Children. 

creches  have  been  established  in  Paris  and  Brussels,  under 
the  care  of  Roman  Catholic  sisterhoods,  I  cannot  tell.  But 
in  the  summer  of  1870,  Mrs.  Hilton,  a  member  of  the  Society 
of  Friends,  visited  a  creche  in  Brussels.  She  had  been 
working  in  the  East  End  of  London  for  some  years,  and  the 
sad  condition  of  little  children  had  become  an  almost 
insupportable  burden  to  her.  In  1871  she  opened  the  first 
creche  established  in  England,  in  the  very  depths  of  the 
submerged  population  of  the  East  End,  where  the  babies 
were  cradled  in  filth  and  fed  on  food  which  was  poison  to 
them.  They  had  idle  mothers,  drunken  mothers,  widowed 
mothers  who  were  compelled  to  lock  them  up  all  day, 
without  food  or  fire,  whilst  they  were  earning  their  bread  and 
a  roof  to  shelter  them.  To  rescue  even  a  few  of  these  little 
ones  was  doing  what  Christ  would  have  His  followers  do. 
Mrs.  Hilton's  Creche  has  now  been  at  work  for  twenty-two 
years,  saving  unnumbered  little  lives ;  and  every  large  town 
has  followed  her  example,  and  started  day-nurseries  and 
public  cradles  of  its  own.  Mrs.  Hilton's  interesting  report 
contains  many  valuable  hints  as  to  the  management  of 
these  institutions. 

The  upper  story  of  Mrs.  Hilton's  Creche  forms  a  little 
hospital,  where  sick  or  dying  children,  whose  mothers  still 
wish  to  nurse  them  by  night,  are  taken  care  of  by  day. 

The  subject  of  Hospitals  will  be  more  fully  dealt  with 
in  another  Section  ;  but  when  writing  on  Woman's  Work  for 
Children  it  is  impossible  to  pass  on  without  some  slight 
mention  of  the  numerous  Hospitals  for  Children  which  have 
been  founded  during  the  last  fifty  years.  No  form  of  charity 
is  more  popular  in  England.  There  are  twenty  public 
Hospitals  for  Children  in  London  ;  and  unnumbered  private 
ones  there,  and  in  the  country,  where  a  few  sick  children  are 
admitted,  who  can  be  attended  to  by  one  trained  nurse, 
helped  by  the  women  of  the  household. 

The  Homes  for  Orphans  and  Fatherless  Children  are 
exceedingly  numerous.  We  do  not  speak  of  such  gigantic 
institutions  as  Dr.  Barnardo's  and  Dr.  Stephenson's,  which 
were  not  founded  by  women,  but  which  are,  of  course, 
largely  dependent  upon  women  for  their  successful  manage- 
ment. In  the  List  of  London  Charities  there  are  no  fewer 

8  Woman's  Mission. 

than  124  Training  Homes  and  Orphanages;  and  these  do 
not  include  private  ones  supported  at  the  cost  of  charitable 
persons,  who  do  not  ask  for  help  from  the  public.  Of  these 
homes  we  can  mention  only  two  or  three. 

The  Home  of  Industry  was  founded  by  Miss  Macpherson, 
in  the  East  End  of  London,  about  twenty-two  years  ago. 
A  large  warehouse  in  Commercial  Street,  which  had  been 
used  as  a  cholera  hospital,  was  taken  and  fitted  up  as  a  very 
plain  and  homely  shelter  for  utterly  destitute  or  orphan 
children.  Other  children  were  admitted  during  the  day,  and 
employed  in  matchbox  making ;  an  industry  which  is  now 
discontinued.  The  difficulty  of  finding  suitable  employment, 
especially  for  the  boys,  led  Miss  Macpherson  to  begin  her 
plan  of  emigration.  She  has  now  two  homes  in  England 
and  two  in  Canada ;  and  the  number  of  children  she  has 
transplanted  from  evil  and  wretched  surroundings  in  London 
to  the  more  promising  and  healthy  life  in  the  Dominion  of 
Canada,  amounts  to  5730. 

Another  interesting  work  is  that  of  the  Brixton  Orphan- 
age for  Fatherless  Girls.  It  was  founded  in  1876  by  Mrs. 
Annie  Montague,  who,  with  a  small  fund  of  ;£ioo,  took 
a  house  and  admitted  into  it  four  orphans.  By  prudent,  yet 
speedy,  degrees  the  scheme  prospered,  until  in  1886,  ten  years 
after  its  commencement,  three  hundred  fatherless  girls  were 
being  fed,  clothed,  and  taught  without  payment  of  any  kind. 
The  control  and  management  of  all  the  internal  arrangements 
are  in  the  hands  of  Mrs.  Montague  alone.  The  whole  of  the 
Orphanage  property  is  vested  in  trustees. 

Crippled  children  have  evoked  great  sympathy.  The 
Cripples  Nursery  for  Boys  and  Girls  was  opened  about  thirty 
years  ago  by  Lady  Caroline  Turner ;  a  Home  for  Crippled 
and  Afflicted  Orphan  Children  was  founded  in  1877  by  Mrs. 
Ginever.  At  the  seaside,  in  almost  every  favourite  health- 
resort,  crooked  and  deformed  little  ones,  and  children  limping 
about  on  crutches,  are  to  be  met  with,  drinking  in  such  health 
as  their  poor  little  frames  can  receive  from  the  sea-breezes. 
In  these  homes  are  to  be  found  all  the  alleviations  and 
appliances  which  ingenious  loving-kindness  and  practical 
surgical  science  can  devise. 

There  are  also  Homes  and  Schools  for  Blind  Children  ; 

Women's   Work  for  Children. 

one  founded  by  Miss  Rye,  and  another  by  Miss  Newbury. 
But  the  Deaf  and  Dumb  seem  somehow  to  have  escaped  the 
meshes  of  our  net. 

The  Princess  Mary  Village  Homes  for  little  girls  was 
founded  in  1870  by  Mrs.  Meredith,  to  take  care  of  and  rescue 
the  young  daughters  of  prisoners  with  whom  she  was  brought 
into  contact  by  her  Prison  Mission.  There  are  about  two 
hundred  children  in  these  homes,  which  are  conducted  on 
the  family  system  ;  ten  girls  being  placed  in  one  cottage, 
under  the  care  of  a  motherly  matron. 

The  Boarding-Out  of  Workhouse  Children  is  almost 
wholly  in  the  hands  of  women ;  and  its  success  or  failure  in 
any  one  place  will  be  due  to  the  committee  of  ladies,  who 
undertake  to  superintend  the  children  committed  to  their 
care.  The  number  of  boarded-out  children,  either  orphan 
or  deserted,  is  increasing  yearly ;  finding  work  in  many 
villages  for  both  the  hands  and  hearts  of  the  women.  In 
the  majority  of  cases  the  result  is  very  satisfactory.  The 
children  lose,  or  rather  do  not  acquire,  the  pauper  taint. 
Instead  of  looking  on  the  crowded  workhouse  school  as  the 
home  of  their  childhood,  to  which  it  is  only  too  natural  to 
return,  they  have  wholesome  memories  of  their  foster-parents, 
and  the  cottage  life,  simple  and  homely  and  human,  where 
their  early  impressions  were  formed.  There  is  perhaps  no 
work  done  for  the  poor  by  Englishwomen  more  valuable 
than  the  careful  supervision  of  boarded-out  children.  The 
Orphan  Association,  founded  in  memory  of  Mrs.  Nassau 
Senior,  is  conducted  on  the  boarding-out  system.  She 
was  the  first  female  Inspector  of  Workhouses  appointed  by 
the  English  Government,  and  did  incalculable  service  to 
her  country  by  calling  attention  to  the  miserable  condition 
of  children  in  workhouse  schools.  The  Orphan  Association 
boards  out  its  little  charges  in  families  of  the  same  position 
in  life  as  that  of  their  deceased  parents. 

Of  late  years  one  of  the  most  popular  forms  of  charity  has 
been  the  Children's  Country  Holiday.  Fifty  or  sixty  miles 
round  London  the  smaller  railway  stations  are  familiar  with 
the  sight  of  bands  of  children,  coming  and  going  every  fort- 
night or  so,  to  have  a  holiday  amongst  the  green  fields  and 
fresh  air  of  the  country.  They  come  pallid  and  unhealthy- 

jo  Woman 's  Mission. 

looking  from  their  homes  in  the  slums  and  alleys  of  London, 
and  they  return  with  something  like  the  rosy  and  merry  faces 
of  childhood.  How  or  where  the  idea  first  started  is  a 
doubtful  question  ;  but  no  sooner  had  it  been  started  than  it 
was  eagerly  seized  upon,  and  carried  into  execution. 

But  time  would  fail  to  tell  of  the  shoe  clubs  ;  the  clothing 
clubs  ;  the  penny  and  halfpenny  dinners  ;  the  tea-meetings  ; 
the  happy  evenings  ;  the  magic-lanterns  ;  the  summer  treats  ; 
the  numerous  and  ingenious  forms  in  which  women's  charity 
is  constantly  and  unobtrusively  pouring  itself  out  in  behalf 
of  the  children  of  the  poor. 

Almost  the  latest  development  of  this  charity  has  been 
the  organizing  of  the  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty 
to  Children.  This  society  has  been,  and  is,  the  work  of 
men  and  women,  loyally  combining  to  achieve  one  end.  It 
is  said  to  have  had  its  origin  in  the  heart  of  a  dying  woman 
in  a  miserable  tenement-house  in  New  York.  She  sent  a 
message  to  the  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to 
Animals,  that  she  could  not  die  in  peace  for  the  cries  of 
a  child  who  was  being  cruelly  used.  Societies  were  quickly 
formed  in  the  United  States.  Mr.  Agnew  of  Liverpool 
brought  the  scheme  home  with  him  from  a  visit  to  America, 
and  soon  established  a  Shelter  in  Liverpool,  which  I  visited 
a  few  weeks  after  it  was  opened.  I  had  long  been  cognizant 
of  the  terrible  deeds  of  cruelty  done  to  poor  children,  espe- 
cially for  the  purpose  of  begging. 

In  the  early  summer  of  1884  Mr.  Agnew  came  to  London, 
and  conferred  with  me  on  the  founding  of  a  society  there. 
The  Bishop  of  Bedford,  Dr.  Billing,  then  the  rector  of  a  large 
parish  in  the  East  End,  introduced  me  and  my  cause  to  a 
small  committee  of  ladies,  meeting  at  the  house  of  the 
Baroness  Burdett-Coutts.  They  eagerly  adopted  the  scheme, 
and  from  that  interview  our  success  was  uninterrupted.  The 
great  philanthropist,  Lord  Shaftesbury,  gladly  accepted  the 
position  of  President.  Cardinal  Manning,  another  great 
philanthropist,  thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  tragedies  of  the 
lowest  depths  of  London  life,  joined  the  movement  heartily. 
Men  and  women  of  all  religious  sects  and  all  political 
opinions  made  the  children's  cause  a  common  ground  of 
union.  Benjamin  Waugh,  the  author  of  "  The  Gaol  Cradle — 

Women  s  Work  for  Children.  1 1 

Who  rocks  it?"  a  man  who  had  devoted  himself  to  the 
welfare  of  street  children,  gave  himself  heart  and  soul  to  the 
work.  It  was  discovered  that  unmentionable  atrocities  were 
perpetrated  in  what  was  considered  sacred  by  Englishmen — 
the  home.  The  laws  of  our  country  would  not  allow  evi- 
dence to  be  taken  of  what  was  going  on  in  the  privacy  of 
home.  It  was  also  discovered  that  children  were  less  pro- 
tected in  England  than  in  most  other  civilized  countries.  In 
1889  a  bill  was  passed  through  Parliament  which  has  been 
rightly  termed  the  Children's  Charter.  Aid  committees  have 
been  formed  in  most  of  the  large  towns  throughout  the  king- 
dom ;  and  in  every  centre  the  consciences  of  men  and  women 
have  been  stirred  in  behalf  of  the  sufferings  of  oppressed 
children.  There  is  no  need  here  to  speak  of  the  method  and 
organization  of  the  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to 
Children.  We  owe  the  idea  of  it  to  the  United  States,  who 
owe  to  us  the  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to 
Animals.  May  God  help  us  to  help  each  other  in  all  such 
works  of  fellowship  with  Him  ! 

The  last  year  or  two  there  has  been  raised  an  outcry  of 
"  What  have  the  Churches  been  doing  for  the  poor  ?  "  This 
is  what  the  Churches  have  been  doing  through  women  for 
children.  It  may  be  safely  assumed  that  most  of  the  women 
who  have  given  themselves  to  good  works  have  been  actuated 
by  religious  motives.  Many  of  them  have  deliberately  and 
consciously  sought  to  tread  in  the  footsteps  of  their  Lord. 
Those  who  raise  the  sneering  cry  know  little  of  the  condition 
of  life  in  large  towns  fifty  years  ago.  Under  the  cry  of  the 
drunkard,  the  loafer,  the  unemployed,  there  could  be  heard 
the  still  more  bitter  and  heart-rending  wail  of  children,  for 
whom  few  men  cared.  They  lived  the  life  of  beasts,  without 
the  beasts'  immunity  from  mental  griefs.  Their  young  hearts 
looked  forward  with  terror  to  to-morrow,  and  looked  back 
with  trembling  on  the  sufferings  of  yesterday.  At  least  the 
children  have  been  lifted  up  out  of  the  worst  slime  of  the 
pit.  There  is  scarcely  a  want  that  has  not  had  some  pro- 
vision made  for  its  removal.  And  this  has  been  done  mainly 
by  the  women  of  the  Churches ;  not  one  Church  more  than 
another.  The  true  woman's  heart  knows  nothing  of  sect 
when  a  child  is  put  into  her  arms. 

12  Woman 's  Mission. 

What  the  nation  will  be  thirty  years  hence  depends  chiefly 
on  what  the  children  of  the  present  decade  are.  The  world 
makes  its  progress  on  the  little  feet  of  childhood.  That  the 
work  of  women  for  children  should  ever  cease  is  impossible  ; 
but  it  is  more  than  work  for  children,  it  is  work  for  the 
fatherland,  for  humanity,  for  God. 



THE  saying  that  to  all  questions  there  are  more  than  one 
side — more  than  one  point  of  view  from  which  they  can  be 
considered — is  of  course  a  truism.  And  in  nothing  is  it  more 
realized  than  in  dealing  with  any  of  our  great  social  evils. 
In  approaching  such  from  one  side  alone  the  difficulties  and 
objections  are  sure  to  obtrude  themselves ;  the  tares  grow 
apace  with  the  wheat,  the  apparently  inevitable  mischief  often 
threatens  to  overshadow  the  good  we  hope  to  do.  All 
benevolent  enterprise,  all  schemes  for  social  improvement 
bristle  with  probable,  and  far  more  than  probable,  dangers 
and  harmful  results. 

Yet  that  this  is  so  is  no  reason  for  letting,  not  "  well,"  but 
"  ill "  alone,  for  sitting  with  our  hands  before  us  and  consoling 
ourselves  when  certain  sad  facts  of  suffering  and  misery  are 
forced  upon  us  with  the  undoubtedly  true,  but  often  sorely 
misinterpreted  and  misapplied,  dicta  that  "  the  innocent  must 
suffer  for  the  guilty ; "  that  "  the  poor  must  be  always  with 
us."  The  hearts  of  even  the  most  rigid  theorists  are  often 
better  than  their  creeds  ;  the  instincts  and  intuitions  of  human 
nature  are  often  truer  than  we  know.  Let  it  be  proclaimed 
on  the  house-tops  that  want  and  degradation  are  the  lawful 
results  of  thriftlessness  and  intemperance,  that  wherever  there 
is  abnormal  suffering  it  has  been  somebody's  fault,  that  till 
starvation  stares  them  in  the  face  in  the  shape  of  their  half- 
naked  and  half-dying  children,  vicious  and  improvident 
parents  will  never  take  heed  to  their  ways — let  all  this  be 

14  Woman's  Mission. 

proclaimed  and  reproclaimed,  as  indeed  it  is  and  should  be, 
still  we — we  women  above  all — cannot  let  "the  little  ones" 
suffer  without  some  effort  for  their  relief.  At  the  sight  of 
their  piteous  case — all  the  more  piteous  that  they  themselves 
are  often  so  unconscious  of  its  being  so,  accepting  with  the 
strange  touching  resignation  of  childhood,  their  woes  as  a 
"  must  be  "  because  they  are — at  the  sight,  all  theories  are 
thrown  to  the  winds,  "  philosophy  "  melts  into  tears,  tears  of 
honest  indignation  as  well  as  pity,  which,  thank  God,  bear 
fruit  in  earnest  and  hearty  action. 

And  surely  this  is  as  it  should  be  ?  Is  it  not  often  well 
to  work  at  and  from  both  ends  ?  Let  us  punish  with  the 
sternest  severity  not  only  tangible  cruelty  on  the  part  of  the 
parents  and  guardians  of  our  poor  children,  but  the  neglect 
or  indifference  almost  as  fearful  in  their  consequences ;  let  us 
instruct  and  enlighten  by  every  means  in  our  power  the 
dense  and  stupid  ignorance  of  their  elders,  which  is  often 
the  cause  of  childish  misery ;  let  us  get  at  the  parents  when- 
ever and  as  much  as  we  can,  pointing  out  and  emphasizing 
in  every  conceivable  way  the  results  of  their  misdoing, 
awakening  by  all  possible  appeal  the  spark  of  conscious 
responsibility  for  the  beings  they  have  brought  into  existence, 
more  often  dormant  than  utterly  extinguished  by  their  own 
dull  lives  and  constant  struggle — let  us  do  all  these  things 
and  more.  And — let  us  say  by  way  of  parenthesis — while 
doing  them,  let  us  not  fall  into  the  mistake  of  imagining  that 
all  or  most  children,  even  in  poverty-stricken  homes,  are 
uncared  for,  or  that  all  parents  among  the  poor  stand  in 
need  of  reform.  That  would  be  a  tremendous  error. 

But,  I  repeat,  while  doing  all  this,  the  other  side  remains — 
while  punishing,  instructing,  awakening  the  grown  men  and 
women,  the  children  stand  by  with  their  little  white  faces, 
the  children  who  are  growing  up  to  be  in  their  turn,  and  all 
too  soon,  parents  themselves.  The  innocent,  as  we  may  hope 
they  mostly  are,  must  suffer  for  the  guilty,  it  is  true;  but 
woe  to  him  by  whom  cometh  the  offence  of  not  doing  all 
that  can  be  done  for  them  while  they  are  innocent,  impres- 
sionable, malleable,  grateful ;  so  touchingly  patient,  so  even 
more  touchingly  merry;  in  a  word,  take  them  in  the  mass 
so  open  to  good  and  healthful  influences. 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air."   15 

What  can  we  do  for  them  ?  What  are  we  women  of 
England  doing  for  these  little  ones  of  ours,  doubly  ours 
surely  as  Christians,  for  are  they  not  in  a  very  special  sense 
His  who  set  a  child  in  the  midst  of  His  hearers,  as  in  much, 
a  type  of  what  they  should  be  themselves  ?  It  was  indeed 
He  who  said  the  poor  should  be  always  with  us,  and  He 
encouraged  no  short-sighted  pity  for  their  condition  as  poor. 
Rather,  on  the  contrary,  did  He  over  and  over  again  hold 
up  the  case  of  the  poor  and  lowly  as  far  less  to  be  dreaded 
than  that  of  the  rich  and  great,  with  the  insidious  temptations 
inseparable  from  wealth  and  grandeur.  But  there  is,  it  seems 
to  me,  a  natural,  a  so-to-speak  reasonable  poverty  to  which  we 
must  believe  He  referred — He,  Himself  the  poor  Carpenter 
of  Nazareth — as  part  of  the  Divine  order  for  humanity  ;  and 
there  are  monstrous  developments  of  this  which  we  cannot 
but  call  evil  and  abnormal.  Here  in  this  huge  and  in  some 
ways  awful  London,  as  in  other  great  cities  in  lesser  degree 
throughout  our  whole  empire,  things  have  got  all  wrong : 
the  rich  are  too  few,  the  poor  too  terribly  many.  What  the 
future  of  it  all  will  be,  how,  as  is  still  prophesied  by  the 
hopeful,  the  blundering  old  world  will,  somehow  or  other, 
to  some  extent  right  itself  again,  is  hidden  from  us  in 
mysterious  and  sometimes  it  seems  appalling  darkness. 
There  are  many  prophets  of  evil,  but  there  are  also  wise 
and  far-seeing  among  us  who  allow  no  cause  for  despair. 
And  as  in  time  of  war  special  and  often  splendid  qualities 
are  called  forth  by  the  very  greatness  of  the  emergency,  may 
we  not  take  it  as  one  of  the  hopeful  signs  of  the  times  that 
all  thoughtful  men  and  women  are  daily  awaking  more  and 
more  to  the  vastness  of  the  "  wrongs "  among  us,  to  the 
necessity  of  well-considered  and  steady  effort  towards  their 
right-setting  ?  And  much  is  being  done. 

Of  the  greater  and  one  might  say  national  work  for  the 
children  of  our  poor  it  is  not  within  my  province  to  speak. 
The  wisest  and  keenest  minds  are  grappling  with  this — 
realizing  that  even  were  we  regardless  of  the  welfare  of  the 
young  for  their  own  sake  they  are  the  men  and  women 
of  the  near  future.  All  we  can  do  for  the  bud  will  amply 
repay  us  in  the  flower.  The  higher  the  level  to  which  we 
can  raise  our  boys  and  girls  the  better  for  our  country  and 

1 6  Woman's  Mission. 

for  the  world ;  the  healthier  we  can  make  them,  morally 
and  physically,  the  more  ground  for  hope. 

But  besides  the  great  concerns  of  schools,  hospitals, 
reformatories,  and  refuges  for  the  absolutely  destitute — our 
poor  waifs  and  strays — other,  more  modest  and  less  known 
work  is  being  done ;  and  about  this  it  is  my  pleasant  task  to 
write  something,  though  but  very  superficially.  For  a  great 
part  of  this  work  has  been  inaugurated  and  is  carried  out  by 
the  women  of  Great  Britain,  and  it  is  work  which  is  capable 
of  almost  endless  increase  and  improvement ;  work  which, 
as  I  shall  endeavour  to  explain  in  fuller  detail,  may  be 
taken  part  in  and  helped  on  in  some  way  by  almost  every 
well-to-do  family  among  us,  necessitating  in  many  cases 
small  outlay  and  small  responsibility ;  good  work,  which  is 
perhaps  best  done  by  private  enterprise  alone,  unburdened 
by  committees,  reports,  and  the  cumbrous  though  unavoidable 
machinery  accompanying  the  organization  and  direction  of 
great  institutions. 

It  may  be  well  to  separate  my  subject  into  three  divisions. 
In  a  certain  sense  it  may  all  be  classed  as  "supplementary 
work,"  for  it  does  not  deal  with  the  absolutely  destitute  and 
starving,  nor  with  the  entirely  neglected  and  uncared  for. 
And  as  in  childhood,  even  more  than  in  maturer  life,  human 
beings  are  more  conscious  of  their  existence  as  bodies  with 
souls  than  as  "  souls  with  bodies  " — the  ideal  state  to  which 
a  great  thinker  would  fain  have  us  attain — let  us  begin  with 
the  efforts  now  making,  and  that  have  for  many  years  been 
successfully  carried  on,  to  supplement  the  scanty  and 
insufficient  nourishment  which  is  all  that  scores  and  hundreds 
of  poor  though  not  homeless  children  have  to  look  to  as 
their  daily  bread,  before  we  pass  to  the  second  and  perhaps 
more  interesting  part  of  my  story ; — the  endeavours  in 
various  directions  to  bring  some  brightness  into  the  lives  of 
the  young  of  our  poorer  classes,  to  teach  them  to  be  happy 
in  simple  and  legitimate  ways,  to  implant  in  them  some 
taste  for,  some  idea  of  pure  and  refined  pleasures.  For  the 
very  suggestion  of  such  bears  fruit :  to  know  that  these 
sources  of  happiness  do  exist,  does  good.  To  parody  the 
old  quotation  which  would  not  be  so  hackneyed  if  it  were 
not  so  true,  if  it  be  "  better  to  have  loved  and  lost  than  never 

For  the  Little  Ones — "  Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air"   17 

to  have  loved  at  all,"  surely  to  have  spent  some  merry  evenings 
in  innocent  amusement,  to  have  seen  the  green  fields  and  the 
primroses  but  once  in  a  child  life,  is  better  than  to  have  no 
conception  of  any  play  but  coarse  romping  in  the  streets,  no 
notion  of  any  landscape  but  that  of  the  man-made  town  ! 

And  if  innocent  and  lawful  recreations  are  not  provided, 
their  place  is  sure  to  be  usurped  by  evil  ones :  it  is  in  the 
empty,  unstocked  garden  that  the  poisonous  weeds  flourish. 
Men  and  women,  boys  and  girls  still  more,  struggle  sorely 
to  be  happy ;  something  to  admire,  to  interest,  to  attract, 
the  young  must  have,  and  the  half-unconscious  yearning  for 
this  lasts  long.  The  love  of  beauty,  even  though  distorted 
so  as  to  be  scarcely  recognizable,  dies  very  hard  in  even  the 
most  degraded. 

I  am  wandering  from  our  hungry  children,  but  we  must 
keep  them  waiting  a  moment  longer  while  I  make  one  other 
preliminary  remark  which  seems  to  me  of  great  importance. 
It  is  this — I  believe  that  one  of  the  most  distinctly  happy 
effects  of  the  kind  of  benevolent  effort  which  we  are 
considering  is  that  it  brings  home  so  plainly  to  the  children 
the  fact  that  among  their  superiors  in  the  social  scale,  above 
all  among  "  ladies,"  there  are  those  that  do  care  for  them. 
The  drawing  closer  together  of  the  classes,  the  inspiring  the 
poor  with  confidence  in  the  sympathy  of  the  rich,  are  among 
the  greatest  goods  that  can  be  done  to  both.  And  towards 
children  it  comes  so  easily  to  be  friendly  and  affectionate. 
Shyness — and  scores  of  "  big  people  "  are  consumed  with 
shyness  when  they  come  in  contact  with  any  class  but  their 
own — melts  before  their  hearty  simplicity,  their  absence  of 
self-consciousness.  A  rather  grimy  little  mouth  held  up  to 
"kiss  the  lady"  may  not  be  precisely  tempting,  but  it  is 
irresistible ;  Tommy's  "  My  eye,  ain't  it  jolly  ? "  if  not 
exactly  a  graceful  and  elegant  acknowledgment  of  his  slice 
of  Christmas  pudding,  comes  from  his  heart  and  goes  to 
yours.  And  when  two  hearts  meet  is  not  half — or  all — the 
battle  won  ? 

And  Tommy  and  even  the  smutty  baby  don't  always 
forget.  Some  seed  takes  root  in  childish  memories  and 
grows  there  and  bears  fruit,  and  if  the  first  tender  sprout  be 
cared  for  and  watered  and  encouraged,  who  can  say  to  what 


1 8  Woman  s  Mission. 

grandeur  and  beauty  it  may  not  attain,  nor  how  many 
happy  "birds  of  Heaven"  may  "find  lodging  under  its 
shadow  "  ? 

"  Hungry  "  is  scarcely  the  word  by  which  to  describe  the 
poor,  insufficiently  nourished  mites  in  whose  behalf  the  first 
good  work  I  have  to  notice  was  inaugurated.  There  is 
something  hearty  and  healthy  in  the  expression,  which  makes 
us  think  of  rosy  cheeks  and  bright  eyes  round  the  breakfast- 
table  or  of  merry  little  feet  trotting  home  to  the  pleasant 
nursery  tea.  The  children  of  the  poor — of  the  very  poor — 
are  seldom  "  hungry  "  in  this  cheery  way.  "  Half-starved  " 
better  describes  their  chronic  condition.  One  of  the  saddest 
things  at  a  poor  children's  treat — in  a  large  town  especially 
— is  that  so  many  among  them  eat  so  little.  They  are  so 
accustomed,  so  inured  to  not  having  enough,  that  when  a 
plentiful  meal  is  put  before  them  they  cannot  readily  do 
justice  to  it ;  in  many  cases  they  are  always  passively 
enduring  the  first  stages  of  the  suffering  of  which  the  acute 
form  is  starvation. 

It  was  in  the  year  1863  that  a  short  article  in  Punch, 
headed  "Dinners  for  Poor  Children  Wanted,"  drew  the 
attention  of  some  benevolent  women,  already  much  interested 
in  Ragged  School  and  other  similar  work,  to  the  miserably 
ill-fed  condition  of  many  of  the  little  pupils  at  the  schools 
in  New  Tothill  Street,  Westminster.  The  teachers  of  these 
schools,  and  those  of  others  as  well,  were  aware  of  the  sad 
state  of  matters,  often  finding  it  impossible  to  make  any  way 
with  their  poor  scholars,  whose  minds  could  scarcely  be 
expected  to  take  in  instruction  when  their  bodies  were  almost 
starving.  And  efforts  had  been  made  by  the  teachers  from 
time  to  time  to  procure  a  little  food  for  the  children  to 
supplement  the  miserable  fare  which  was  all  they  could  get 
at  their  own  homes. 

But  to  be  effectual,  such  assistance  requires  to  be  organized 
and  systematic.  Thanks  to  the  leaders  in  this  movement — 
the  late  Baroness  Mayer  de  Rothschild  and  her  sister — the 
year  1864  saw  established  a  sensible  and  practical  scheme  for 
providing  one  good  dinner  a  fortnight  to  fifty  of  the  most 
needy  among  the  children  at  these  schools. 

One  good  meal  in  a  fortnight !     It  does  not  sound  very 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air."  19 

much  to  us,  who  are  in  distress  and  anxiety  if  our  children 
pass  half  a  day  with  less  than  their  usual  nourishment.  But 
practically  it  has  been  found  to  mean  a  good  deal.  For  the 
poor  little  people's  improved  condition  and  appearance  soon 
rewarded  their  benefactors,  and  led  to  other  kindly  persons 
interesting  themselves  in  this  simple  and  sensible  charity ; 
which  thus  rapidly  extended  and  grew.  By  the  end  of  1865 
it  was  found  that  over  three  thousand  dinners  had  been  given 
at  these  same  New  Tothill  Street  Schools.  Then  followed 
a  successful  appeal  in  the  Times,  and  a  large  meeting  at  the 
house  of  the  late  Lord  Mount  Temple,  resulting  in  the  formal 
inauguration  under  the  presidency  of  the  father  of  so  many 
philanthropic  schemes,  the  late  well-known  Lord  Shaffcesbury, 
of  "The  Destitute  Children's  Dinner  Society."  And  under 
this  name  the  society  still  exists,  though  so  immensely 
enlarged  that  it  is  difficult  to  recognize  as  the  same  which 
sprang  from  the  modest  beginning  of  twenty-five  weekly 
dinners  in  one  school,  a  good  work  which  in  1891  provided 
no  less  than  290,476  dinners  in  fifty-five  dining-rooms  in 
various  parts  of  London. 

The  causes  of  the  success  of  this  good  work — initiated, 
as  I  have  said,  by  two  or  three  women  at  their  own  cost — are 
not  far  to  seek.  It  was  sorely  needed,  and  it  has  been  carried 
out  on  sensible  and  practical  lines.  The  rules  are  few  and 
simple  ;  care  being  taken  that  the  great  danger  always  to 
be  apprehended  in  charitable  schemes,  that  of  pauperizing 
those  whom  it  was  meant  to  benefit,  is  guarded  against  as 
thoroughly  as  possible,  by  strict  inquiry  into  the  real  need 
of  the  children  admitted  to  the  dinners,  and  by  charging  a 
small  sum,  at  first  a  penny,  now  only  a  halfpenny,  for  the 
plateful  of  good  honest  "  Irish  stew,"  composed  of  beef  or 
mutton,  potatoes,  barley  or  rice,  and  onions,  accompanied  by 
a  substantial  slice  of  bread.  The  cooking,  laying  of  the  table, 
washing  up,  etc.,  are  done  by  a  few  of  the  elder  school-girls 
in  turn,  under  proper  superintendence ;  thus  benefiting  the 
young  cooks  as  well  as  those  for  whom  they  work.  Clean 
hands  and  faces,  orderly  manners  at  table,  are  insisted  upon ; 
grace  is  sung  by  the  children  before  and  after  the  meal,  thus 
utilizing  the  charity  as  a  moral  influence  for  good  as  well  as 
a  material  benefit  Some  idea  of  its  present  extent  may  be 

2O  Woman  s  Mission. 

better  arrived  at,  by  mentioning  the  figures  to  which  the 
children's  halfpence  now  amount.  In  1890  the  sum  thus  paid 
in  fifty-nine  dining-rooms  came  to  £606  i8s.  7^.;  1891  to 
^•588  i6s.  $\d. ;  these  being  met  respectively  by  grants  from 
the  society  of  £1377  and  £1274. 

On  the  death  of  Lord  Shaftesbury  the  presidency  of  the 
work  reverted  to  woman's  hands,  those  of  Lady  Burdett- 
Coutts  ;  one  of  its  warmest  and  most  liberal  supporters.  And 
this  parent  society  has  now  to  boast  of  several  others,  in 
some  cases  off-shoots  from  itself,  in  some,  independent  imita- 
tors working  on  similar  lines,  both  in  London  and  in  various 
other  places  throughout  the  country,  notably  in  the  large 
provincial  towns  where  the  same  sad  shadows  of  want  and 
need  dog  the  footsteps  of  great  material  enterprise. 

Of  these  perhaps  the  first  to  be  noticed  are  the  dining- 
rooms  for  children  in  connection  with  the  Board  Schools, 
which  are  organized  on  much  the  same  lines  as  the  "  Destitute 
Children's  dinners  "  which  we  have  been  considering  in  some 
detail.  And  though  these  Board  School  free  dinners  were 
not  originated,  as  were  their  precursors,  by  women,  it  is  in- 
variably the  lady  members  of  the  Board,  and  other  women 
helpers,  who  chiefly  manage  and  carry  them  on. 

The  Mildmay  Institutions  also  provide  dinners  for  boys 
and  girls  during  the  winter,  in  connection  with  the  parent 
society,  to  the  extent  of  sixty  or  seventy  a  day. 

Then  there  are  the  free — or  rather  penny  dinners — during 
the  winter  months,  in  connection  with  various  Jewish  schools 
at  Stepney,  Sandys  Row,  etc.  These  are,  I  think,  without 
exception,  dependent  upon  and  under  the  charge  of  ladies. 
Mrs.  Adler,  the  President  of  this  work  at  Sandys  Row,  was 
one  of  the  first  to  take  up  the  idea.  At  the  present  moment 
under  her  management,  1400  dinners — of  Irish  stew  or  sub- 
stantial soup,  with  a  good  slice  of  bread  and  jam  to  finish 
up — are  provided  weekly.  And  there  are  private  enterprises 
of  the  same  kind,  which  it  is  often  difficult  to  discover  in  their 
modest  retirement,  such  as  the  "  Dinner-Table  for  Children 
and  Invalids,"  founded  and  carried  on  by  Lady  Thompson 
and  her  daughter  at  60,  Paddington  Street,  where  hungry 
little  people  may  dine  twice  a  week  for  the  sum  of  one 
penny,  and  some  for  nothing  at  all,  according  to  their 

For  the  Little  Ones — "'Food,  Fun,  and  Fresk  Air."  2 1 

need;  care  being  taken  to  ensure  the  real  eligibility  of  the 

And  these  hospitable  schemes  are  not  limited  to  dinners. 
The  list  of  free  or  cheap  breakfasts  for  the  children  of  the 
poor  is  long  and  satisfactory.  And  surely  if  a  dinnerless 
child  is  a  melancholy  idea,  that  of  a  boy  or  girl  who  has  had 
no  breakfast,  especially  on  a  cold  or  damp  winter  morning, 
is  still  worse !  How  can  they  do  their  lessons  under  such 
conditions  ?  how  can  they  keep  their  tempers  ?  how  can  they 
resist  the  temptation,  should  it  offer,  of  stealing  a  penny  roll  ? 

But  as  a  workman  was  heard  to  say  the  other  day  in 
reference  to  a  mission-room  where  these  breakfasts  for  chil- 
dren are  provided,  there  are  "  those  as  thinks  for  'em.  'Tis 
nice  to  see  'em  go  in  blue  and  come  out  rosy."  I  have  in  my 
thoughts  just  such  a  room  but  a  few  streets  off,  where  year 
after  year,  thanks  to  the  energy  of  one  kind-hearted  woman, 
during  the  winter  months  one  hundred  morning  meals  are 
daily  provided  for  needy  boys  and  girls ;  breakfasts  of  cocoa 
and  bread,  and  porridge  and  milk  on  alternate  days,  the 
utmost  care  being  taken  that  no  abuse  or  misuse  is  made  of 
this  charity — of  course  a  most  necessary  and  a  perfectly  pos- 
sible precaution.  No  child  is  allowed  to  have  more  than  two 
breakfasts  a  week,  and  no  child  receives  a  ticket  except  from 
the  heads  of  the  schools  it  attends  or  from  the  clergy  of  the 
parish,  who  are  intimately  acquainted  with  the  actual  circum- 
stances of  all  their  poor. 

The  Church  Extension  Association  has  of  late  years  done 
much  in  the  way  of  providing  children's  dinners  and  break- 
fasts— those  at  several  places  being  under  the  management 
of  the  Kilburn  Sisters.  The  number  of  halfpenny  dinners 
given  by  this  association  in  1892  amounted  to  53,700,  and 
breakfasts  on  a  corresponding  scale.  A  very  attractive  charity 
has  also  been  carried  on  by  this  same  society  for  upwards  of 
twenty  years  in  the  shape  of  Sunday  breakfasts,  or,  to  use 
the  quaint  name  the  children  themselves  have  adopted,  "  Bun 
Schools."  For  the  fare,  in  honour  of  the  day  which  should 
be  the  happiest  of  the  seven,  is  somewhat  choicer  than  that 
of  the  week-day  breakfasts.  It  consists  of  a  mug  of  tea  and 
a  currant  roll.  These  Sunday  breakfasts,  superintended  by 
women  volunteers,  were  inaugurated  in  behalf  of  real  gutter- 

22  Womaii 's  Mission. 

children,  and  in  many  instances  proved  to  be  the  thin  end 
of  the  wedge  for  better  things. 

To  bring  some  sunshine  into  the  lives  of  the  children  of  our 
poor,  to  teach  them  "  how  to  play  "  innocently  and  healthily, 
is,  on  broad  lines,  the  object  of  the  second  section  of  the 
work  of  women  among  the  little  ones  which  I  have  to 
describe,  and  which  I  have  roughly  classed  as  "  Fun."  The 
very  idea  of  such  a  thing  for  those  who  are  in  many  cases 
in  actual  need  of  food  and  clothing  is  in  itself  a  novel  and 
modern  one,  which  found  no  place  in  charitable  schemes  not 
so  very  many  years  ago.  Let  us  hope  that  this  special 
extension  of  our  thought  and  sympathy  is  one  of  the  un- 
doubtedly good  signs  of  the  times  ;  that  the  wish  to  give  to 
poor  children  some  share  in  the  heritage  of  joy  and  merri- 
ment which  we  should  think  it  so  hard,  so  very  hard  for  our 
own  boys  and  girls  to  be  deprived  of,  testifies  to  an  ever- 
increasing  spirit  of  true  humanity,  of  realizing  the  great  fact 
of  our  brother-  and  sisterhood. 

And  in  this  department  we  find  that  it  is  again  women 
who  have  been  the  leaders  and  the  pioneers.  Occasional 
treats  for  children — school  feasts  in  the  country,  Christmas 
parties  in  the  towns — have  for  long  been  recognized  insti- 
tutions, arranged  and  managed  by  each  parish  for  itself ;  by 
the  leading  women  of  each  parish  in  most  cases.  But  the 
idea  of  a,  so  to  say,  all-the-year-round  scheme  of  recreation 
and  amusement,  a  regular  system  of  pleasure  and  fun  as  a 
part  of  every-day  life  for  the  poor,  as  it  has  always  been  for 
the  rich,  is  a  delightful  novelty. 

The  most  important  of  these  societies,  the  Children's 
Happy  Evenings  Association,  though  not  the  first  in  order 
of  time,  as  the  Ragged  Schools  had  already  started  "  recreative 
evenings  "  for  their  members — begun  but  three  years  ago  at 
one  school  in  Lambeth,  now  numbers  twenty-seven  branches 
in  widely-separated  poor  parts  of  London.  At  these  centres, 
once  a  week  or  once  a  fortnight,  thousands  of  children  meet 
for  healthy  and  hearty  amusement.  Lady  Jeune  and  the 
Misses  Heather-Bigg  were  the  initiators  of  this  movement, 
one  surely  of  the  very  best  ever  thought  of,  for  the  human- 
izing, refining,  and  brightening  these  dull  little  lives.  And 
the  considerate  care  and  practical  good  sense  with  which  the 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air"  23 

scheme  has  been  carried  out  by  these  its  first  promoters,  and 
other  wise  and  kindly-hearted  women,  true  lovers  of  children, 
among  whom  Mrs.  Moberley  Bell  must  be  mentioned  as  one 
of  the  most  devoted  workers,  are  shown  by  the  tangible 
results.  Every  year  sees  new  branches  started  under  the 
supervision  of  the  original  society,  or  similar  associations  are 
formed  on  the  same  lines,  though  managed  independently. 

As  a  rule,  the  children  meet  in  the  largest  room  of  the 
schools,  where,  in  the  earlier  hours,  books  and  lessons  are 
the  order  of  the  day.  And  now  the  walls  re-echo  to  very 
different  sounds  from  those  they  are  accustomed  to.  A  piano, 
very  possibly  no  longer  in  its  first  youth,  poor  thing !  but 
none  the  worse  for  that  if  it  means  that  it  has  been  the  gift 
of  a  well-wisher,  and  has  not  to  be  paid  for,  responds  to  the 
willing  fingers  of  some  girl  looking  nearly  as  merry  as  the 
little  folk  who  dance  to  her  inspiriting  tunes  ;  or  a  game  of 
"  musical  chairs  "  leaves  them  all  breathless  with  running  and 
laughter,  though  they  soon  find  their  voices  again  when  they 
sit  down  on  the  floor  for  a  rest,  and  sing  with  might  and 
main  some  favourite  chorus. 

In  another  part  of  the  room  skipping-rope  competitions 
are  going  on — trials  of  skill  in  which  the  boys  as  well  as  their 
sisters  do  not  disdain  to  take  part.  Quieter  tastes,  too,  are 
by  no  means  left  unprovided  for.  Several  branches  have 
their  own  special  features,  suggested  no  doubt  by  the  par- 
ticular proficiency  or  capacities  of  the  directors  of  the  recrea- 
tions. For  instance,  at  one  school  in  Marylebone  the 
children  have  become  quite  adroit  at  getting  up  little  scenic 
effects — tableaux  vivants  and  so  on — with  the  aid  of  the  very 
simplest  materials  ;  in  another  they  have  learnt  to  use  their 
toy  paint-boxes  with  great  success  ;  in  a  third  their  neat- 
handedness  and  inventiveness  have  been  exercised  in  the 
manufacture  of  toy  tables  and  chairs  of  cork  and  wood, 
helped  by  pins  and  shreds  of  wool ;  the  filling  of  scrap-books 
with  old  Christmas  cards  is  another  very  favourite  amuse- 
ment ;  and  at  all  "  happy  evenings  "  you  are  sure  to  find 
a  room  devoted  to  reading  or  telling  stories.  Here  you  may 
see  the  narrator  surrounded  by  a  circle  of  eager  and  intent 
little  ones,  transported  for  the  time  to  those  blissful  regions  of 
fairyland  whose  doors  should  surely  never  be  closed  to  any 

24  Womaris  Mission. 

child,  rich  or  poor ;  nay,  rather  should  they  not  open  the 
more  widely  to  those  whose  real  lives  are  so  denuded  of 
sweetness  and  beauty  ? 

The  "  happy  evening  "  ends  all  too  soon  ;  the  last  of  the 
programme  being,  like  the  first,  a  lively  march  to  some 
stirring  tune,  and  the  children  flock  off—  their  "  good-nights  " 
interrupted  by  many  a  "  mayn't  I  come  next  time  ? " — to 
dream,  let  us  hope,  of  fun  and  frolic  and  fairyland,  or,  better 
still,  however  vaguely,  of  some  far-off  world  where  there  are 
no  rough  words,  no  tears,  no  headaches — where  the  secret 
of  all  the  happiness  is  love. 

Now  and  then,  at  Christmas  time  or  on  some  special 
occasion,  there  comes  a  grand  "field-day."  A  tea-party  is 
given  with  unlimited  cake  and  buns,  or  a  Punch  and  Judy 
show  is  provided  by  some  kind  friend.  Magic-lantern  enter- 
tainments are  of  course  popular,  and  conjuring  wonders,  and 
Negro  minstrels  are  not  unknown  ;  and  what  perhaps  gives 
most  pleasure  of  anything,  the  children  are  sometimes  them- 
selves the  entertainers,  on  more  than  one  occasion  having 
been  allowed  to  invite  their  parents  to  witness  some  special 
performance  which  they  had  been  helped  to  get  up. 

The  effect  of  these  "  happy  evenings  "  reaches  far.  From 
one  centre,  in  a  peculiarly  neglected  and  somewhat  outlying 
part  of  North- West  London,  established  not  long  ago,  I  hear 
that  the  drawing  together  in  heart  and  sympathy  of  the 
children  and  their  grown-up  playfellows-for-the-time  has  been 
already  productive  of  most  satisfactory  results.  The  little 
people  are  now  more  than  manageable  ;  they  are  developing 
courtesy,  good  manners,  and  consideration  for  others  to  a 
degree  that  is  more  than  praiseworthy  when  one  remembers 
the  terrible  roughness  and  almost  savagery  of  their  daily 

For  in  this  district  the  circumstances  of  the  homes  are 
particularly  miserable,  the  mothers  being  as  a  rule  the  ab- 
sentees for  twelve,  sixteen,  or  even  eighteen  hours  of  the 
twenty-four — working  at  the  great  steam-laundries  which 
here  abound,  till  late,  terribly  late  at  night ;  so  that  even 
more  than  in  other  poor  neighbourhoods  the  streets  have 
been  literally  the  children's  only  play-room,  the  word  "  home  " 
a  mockery.  In  such  a  case,  one  could  indeed  find  it  in 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air''  25 

one's  heart  to  wish  that  the  "happy  evenings"  were  a  daily 

This  good  work  can  with  comparatively  small  effort  be 
enormously  increased,  as  may  be  practically  shown  to  any 
one  interested  in  the  details  of  the  organization.  The  cost — 
above  all  where  the  schoolrooms  are  lent — is  extremely 
small;]  from  £12  to  £15  a  year,  roughly  speaking  a  half- 
penny a  child  per  evening  covering,  the  outlay  required  for 
the  average  attendance — about  one  hundred  and  fifty,  weekly 
or  fortnightly.  The  volunteers  to  play  with  and  superintend 
the  children  need  only  promise  two  hours  weekly  or  fort- 
nightly— no  very  heavy  burden  surely. 

But  nothing,  good  work  of  no  kind  excepted,  is  perfect. 
There  are  always  possible  objections  ;  there  are,  even  more 
certainly,  the  objectors,  and  one  often  hears  these  "happy 
evenings"  decried  as  having  a  bad  influence  on  the  boys 
and  girls  for  whose  benefit  they  exist,  in  "destroying  their 
love  for  home,"  and  "  keeping  them  out  in  the  streets  too 
late."  To  such  I  would  reply  that  no  doubt  modifications 
of  the  general  scheme  may  sometimes  be  advisable,  and 
should  be  left  to  the  good  sense  of  the  managers.  Each 
individual  district  presents  its  own  individual  features.  In 
such  a  neighbourhood  as  the  one  I  have  alluded  to,  every 
possible  objection  of  the  kind  falls  to  the  ground.  When 
every  evening  is  spent  in  the  streets,  surely  one  a  week  is  all 
too  little  for  the  children  to  be  under  loving  supervision 
though  not  that  of  their  parents  ;  when  homes  are  no  homes, 
owing  to  the  mother's  often  unavoidable  absence,  surely  there 
can  be  no  interference  with  their  sacredness.  In  other  places 
one  invitation  a  fortnight  may  perhaps  be  as  much  as  is 
necessary  or  advisable  ;  but  it  is  difficult  to  believe  that  in 
any  case  this  moderate  amount  of  "innocent  dissipation," 
certainly  not  more  than  the  wisest  mothers  in  our  class 
would  allow  for  their  little  ones,  can  be  in  any  sense  noxious. 

Still  there  are  those  to  whose  judgment  one  would  defer, 
who  object  to  evening  treats,  and  in  these  cases  there  is  the 
alternative  of  a  different  hour.  The  workers  at  the  Women's 
University  Settlement  in  Southwark,  for  instance,  have  found 
that  it  better  suited  the  conditions  of  the  poor  children  of 
that  part  of  the  world  to  have  their  weekly  fun  in  the  morn- 

26  Woman's  Mission. 

ing.  And  every  Saturday,  therefore,  sees  merry  little  people 
assembled  for  games,  and  music,  and  story-telling  in  the  various 
schoolrooms  lent  for  the  purpose,  with  again  the  happiest 
results.  And  these  ladies,  headed  by  their  energetic  leader, 
Miss  Sewell,  undertake  another  kindly  and  pleasant  task  in 
the  same  direction.  On  holiday  afternoons  small  parties  of  six 
to  ten  schoolgirls  are  escorted  by  them  to  the  different  exhibi- 
tions of  pictures  and  other  desirable  resorts — among  them  the 
Zoological  Gardens — to  the  great  delight  of  the  children  ;  who, 
with  the  very  rarest  exceptions,  conduct  themselves  with  the 
utmost  propriety  and  docility. 

This  same  centre  of  philanthropic  enterprise  for  women 
is  full  of  resources  at  holiday  times  for  adding  to  the  safe  and 
wholesome  enjoyment  of  the  surrounding  poor  children.  It 
would  be  difficult  to  name  a  "treat"  that  they  have  not 
planned  or  any  new  ideas  for  brightening  these  little  lives 
which  they  are  not  eager  to  try. 

It  may  not  be  out  of  place  here  to  speak  of  a  society 
whose  very  name  is  full  of  charming  suggestion — the  Santa 
Claus  Society.  The  Santa  Glaus  Home,  I  must  explain — a 
sort  of  supplementary  convalescent  hospital  for  children, 
specially  organized  to  meet  special  needs — is  a  separate  work 
which  grew  out  of  the  original  idea,  and  does  not  fall  within 
the  limits  of  this  paper.  It  is  the  original  society,  whose 
sweet  and  tender  object  is  almost  told  by  its  name,  of  which 
I  would  speak. 

This  name — Claus  or  Klaus — is,  as  almost  everybody  knows, 
the  familiar  northern  abbreviation  of  that  of  the  child-loving 
saint,  Nicholas  of  Myra,  who  more  than  fifteen  hundred  years 
ago,  in  the  far-off  East,  devoted  himself  to  the  service  of  the 
little  ones  ;  the  good  bishop  whose  modesty  was  so  great  that 
he  hid  his  kind  deeds  by  every  possible  device.  And  there 
is  a  pleasing  irony  of  fate  in  the  fact  that  this  very  name  of 
his  which  he  strove  to  conceal,  should  still,  after  all  these 
centuries,  be  a  household  word  throughout  Europe,  while  yet 
the  legend  of  his  shrinking  humility  lingers  in  the  fascinating 
mystery  surrounding  the  ever  invisible  nursery  benefactor. 

The  object  of  this  kindly  little  society  was  to  provide 
toys,  of  which  dolls  are  the  most  conspicuous  feature,  to  the 
little  sufferers  in  our  children's  wards  and  children's  hospitals. 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air"  27 

It  was  started  in  1885  by  the  Misses  Charles  on  very  simple 
and  almost  private  lines.  Since  then  it  has  grown  so  much 
that  every  year  an  exhibition  of  the  dolls  takes  place,  at 
which  prizes  are  given  for  the  best  dressed,  and  at  the  same 
time  a  sale  is  held  for  the  benefit  of  the  society.  The  pleasure 
the  gifts  bestow  is  reward  indeed  to  the  givers.  Many  of  the 
children  can  at  first  scarcely  realize  that  Santa  Claus  has  sent 
them  something.  For  "  at  home  we  didn't  have  no  Christ- 
mas," says  one  little  patient ;  and  "  he  never  brought  us 
nothing  before,"  says  another  in  delighted  astonishment 

Think  of  a  child  that  has  never  had  a  toy !  Did  you  ever 
hear  the  true  story  of  a,  I  think,  chronic  little  sufferer,  whose 
only  playthings  were  the  spots  of  damp  on  the  wall  at  the 
side  of  her  bed,  to  which  she  gave  names  and  imaginary 
qualities  ?  Or  another  equally  true  story,  which  came  within 
my  knowledge  the  other  day.  A  teacher  at  a  Sunday  school 
was  endeavouring  to  give  her  little  pupils  some  notion  of  the 
real  meaning  of  giving — that  whatever  it  may  be,  our  offer- 
ing to  God  should  be  of  our  best,  of  what  we  most  prize. 
And  in  one  baby  heart  her  words  found  response.  The  little 
creature  confided  to  her  teacher  on  the  next  occasion  her 
offering :  it  was  a  little  carefully  tied-up  packet  containing 
a  few  grains  of  rice,  her  most  prized,  perhaps  her  only 
treasure ! 

There  are  many  other  associations  already  in  existence 
whose  general  objects  are  those  which  we  have  been  dis- 
cussing ;  the  bringing  some  sunshine  into  childish  lives,  the 
teaching  these  poor  little  boys  and  girls  how  to  play.  We 
find  these  societies  scattered  throughout  the  provinces ;  we 
hear  of  the  movement  spreading  in  the  country,  where  in 
winter  especially  cottage  evenings  are  often  very  dull  and 
dreary.  And  everywhere  we  find  that  women,  even  if  not,  as 
in  many  cases  they  are,  the  actual  originators  of  the  "  happy 
evenings,"  or  children's  treats  of  every  kind,  are  yet  invariably 
the  great  workers  in  these  directions.  It  seems  to  be  essen- 
tially a  woman's  work,  this  beautifying  of  young  lives,  this 
embroidery,  as  it  were,  on  the  substantial  charities  already 
existing.  It  is  not  confined  to  Church  workers,  though  I 
think  I  may  say  that  in  no  parish  is  the  idea  now  ignored 
by  the  clergy  and  their  helpers.  We  find  it  in  full  swing 

28  Woman  s  Mission. 

among  the  Wesleyan  women  workers  of  the  community ;  it 
is  excellently  carried  out  by  the  ladies  forming  the  com- 
mittees of  the  Jewish  schools  at  Stepney,  Bayswater  and  else- 
where. The  poor  German  children  who  abound  in  some  parts 
of  London  are  not  forgotten  by  the  rich  women  of  their  nation 
resident  here,  especially  at  Christmas  time,  when  much  is 
done  by  the  lady  members  of  the  German  Lutheran  com- 
munity to  make  the  little  people  happy.  It  is  coming — it 
has  come  indeed — to  be  strongly  realized  that  human  buds 
and  blossoms  need  sunshine  for  their  full  and  normal  growth 
and  development  just  as  certainly  as  do  those  of  the  vegetable 
world — sunshine  moral  and  spiritual  for  our  boys  and  girls 
we  must  have  if  the  great  battle  of  good  over  evil,  of  love 
over  hatred  is  ever  to  be  won. 

And  sunshine  in  the  literal  sense  too,  our  poor  children 
need ;  the  want  of  it  is  told  all  too  pitifully  by  their  pallid 
and  prematurely  careworn  faces.  Sunshine,  it  is  true,  we 
cannot  ensure  very  much  of  in  this  uncertain  climate  of  ours, 
even  for  our  own  little  people ;  it  is  one  of  the  things  that  in 
England  money  cannot  buy.  But  some  chance  of  enjoying 
it  when  it  does  come,  and  at  any  rate  a  certainty  of  fresh 
air — a  sight  of  fields  and  trees,  of  the  "  real  country  "  as  one 
hears  it  sometimes  pathetically  described — wanderings  in 
green  lanes  and  scrambles  in  quest  of  wild  flowers,  or  a  breath 
of  the  sea,  an  enraptured  vision  of  the  dancing  waves,  races 
on  the  "  lovely  smooth  sands,"  and  the  inexhaustible  delights 
of  wooden  spades  and  tin  buckets — all  these  boons  we  can 
give  some  measure  of  to  the  poor  boys  and  girls  of  our  great 
towns.  And  perhaps  no  charitable  work  is  so  popular,  so 
sure  to  evoke  sympathy  and  ready  co-operation  as  this.  Since 
the  idea  of  it  first  struck  some  thoughtful  and  wise  as  well  as 
kind-hearted  women  but  a  few  years  ago,  the  work  has  spread 
and  increased  at  a  really  astonishing  rate  ;  and  as  time  goes 
on  and  the  lessons  of  practical  experience  are  profited  by, 
there  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  the  effort  will  prosper 
more  and  more,  while  the  few  flaws,  the  inevitable  mistakes 
attending  a  first  start  in  any  new  direction  gradually  drop  off 
and  disappear. 

The  success  and  present  working  of  the  Country  Holiday 
Schemes,  and  Fresh  Air  Missions,  in  a  general  way,  may  be 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air."  29 

shown  by  a  few  particulars  from  the  reports  of  some  of  the 
principal  centres.  And  though  these  cannot  all  be  said  to 
have  been  inaugurated  by  women,  still  it  is  undoubtedly  the 
case  that  from  women  came  the  first  suggestion  of  the  thing, 
and  that  women  are  the  main  workers  and  managers  of  the 
whole.  But  above  and  beyond  the  satisfactory  results  thus 
borne  witness  to,  there  is,  one  is  glad  to  know,  an  immense 
deal  of  good  work  in  this  special  way  of  which  no  printed 
reports  are  published,  no  committee  meetings  held :  quiet, 
unobtrusive,  sensible  endeavour  to  do  what  can  be  done 
privately,  but  not  on  that  account  the  less  thoroughly,  to  give, 
if  but  in  each  case  to  a  very  few  of  the  pale-faced  little  dwellers 
in  the  towns,  some  share  in  the  delights  and  benefits  of  a 
week  or  a  fortnight  or,  better  still,  three  weeks  in  the  country. 
It  is  a  kind  of  good  work  which  it  is  very  easy  to  do  well  in 
this  modest  way.  It  is  indeed  a  question  whether  private 
enterprise  in  this  direction  is  not  the  best  of  all.  If  families 
with  sufficiently  commodious  country  houses  take  even  two 
poor  children  at  a  time  for  a  fortnight,  during  four  or  five 
months  of  the  fine  season,  twenty  little  people  are  thus 
benefited,  without  the  housekeeping  books  showing  any 
difference  to  speak  of — for  the  appetites  of  these  town  chil- 
dren as  a  rule  are  small ;  and  as  for  the  third-class  railway 
fares,  in  what  better  direction  could  one  spend  a  certain  pro- 
portion of  the  money  which  surely  can  never  be  conscientiously 
looked  upon  as  all  ours  ?  And  in  this  way  one  gets  to  know 
the  children  individually  ;  other  good  influences  besides  those 
of  "  the  sunshine  and  the  flowers  "  are  brought  directly  and 
indirectly  to  bear  upon  them  ;  year  after  year  in  some  cases, 
they  come  to  look  forward  to  the  fortnight  under  the  roof  of 
their  more  prosperous  friends  as  the  bright  spot  in  their  lives. 
They  learn  to  believe  in  the  love  and  sympathy  they  are 
actually  conscious  of. 

In  many  instances  the  experiment  has  been  tried,  and 
with  such  success  that  it  will  be  repeated.  In  many  happy 
country  homes  the  arrival  of  "  the  poor  children  from 
London  "  or  elsewhere  is  coming  to  be  looked  for  as  cheer- 
fully as  that  of  the  swallows. 

For  there  are  not  many  families  who  cannot  do  something 
in  this  direction.  If  not  able  to  house  them  under  their  own 

3O  Woman  s  Mission. 

roof,  there  is  pretty  sure  to  be  a  "somewhere"  near  at  hand, 
where  for  a  small  payment  the  little  town  mice  can  be  made 
welcome,  and  share  in  the  kindly  care  of  the  cottage  mother. 

This  boarding-out  in  cottage  homes  is  found  to  be  the 
best  and  most  practical  mode  of  organizing  the  country  visits 
on  a  large  scale.  The  most  important  of  our  "Fresh  Air  for 
Poor  Children "  societies — namely,  the  Children's  Holiday 
Fund,  works  entirely  on  this  system,  and  on  the  whole  it 
answers  admirably.  Though  started  only  eight  years  ago,  it 
now  numbers  eight  hundred  country  centres,  at  which,  every 
summer,  arrangements  are  made  for  receiving  children.  In 
1891,  25,613  small  townsfolk  were  sent  off  for  a  fortnight's 
"  fresh  air,"  the  expenditure  of  the  society  for  that  year  being 
;£i  6,037,  exclusive  of  payments  from  the  parents,  amount- 
ing to  about  a  third  of  that  sum.  For  one  of  the  best 
features  of  the  association  is  that  the  fathers  and  mothers  of 
the  children  who  benefit  by  it  are  expected  to  pay  according 
to  their  means. 

This  society  is  not  essentially  a  "  women's  work,"  but  a 
very  great  part  of  the  supervision  and  detail  is  managed  by 
women.  And  some  branch  societies,  working  in  connection 
with  it  and  assisted  by  its  grants,  consist  exclusively  of 

Of  these  I  may  instance  the  Women's  University  Settle- 
ment, in  Southwark,  where  a  large  amount  of  country  holiday 
work  is  done  every  year.  The  past  year  saw  seven  hundred 
children  sent  off  for  their  annual  holiday  under  the  auspices 
of  this  society,  and  great  credit  is  due  to  the  women  workers 
of  the  settlement  for  the  thoroughness  with  which  this 
department  of  their  manifold  charities  is  managed.  The 
circumstances  of  the  children  selected,  their  real  need  of 
assistance,  the  proportion  which  the  parents  can  pay,  the 
children's  physical  state,  as  free  from  infectious  diseases  or 
other  objectionable  conditions — all  these  difficult  points  are 
gone  into  with  the  most  painstaking  exactitude ;  while  on 
the  other  side  the  cottage  homes  are  carefully  chosen,  the 
"  country  correspondents,"  or  lady  visitors  who  undertake  the 
supervision  of  the  little  guests,  so  as  to  guard  against  such 
evils  as  overcrowding,  insufficient  feeding,  etc.,  are  well 
instructed  as  to  what  is  their  necessary  part  of  the  work,  so 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air."  31 

that  the  whole  machinery  may  act  as  harmoniously  as 
possible,  and  any  hitch  or  source  of  danger  be  quickly 
detected  and  set  right 

The  North  St.  Pancras  Children's  Holiday  Fund  is 
another  smaller  society  of  the  same  kind  which  since  its 
founding  in  August,  1 886,  has  done  good  and  efficient  work 
under  its  president,  Lady  Lamington,  and  the  acting 
committee,  composed  chiefly  of  women.  Its  first  year  saw 
sixty  children  sent  for  a  week  to  the  seaside ;  six  years 
later  the  number  sent,  and  that  for  a  fortnight  each,  had 
mounted  up  to  360.  The  details  of  this  society  are  on  much 
the  same  lines  as  I  have  described  ;  every  precaution  against 
mistakes  being  taken,  nothing  being  thought  too  trifling 
to  consider  where  the  children's  welfare  is  in  any  way 

The  Children's  Fresh  Air  Mission,  another  society  on 
similar  lines,  is  more  specially  intended  to  benefit  boys  and 
girls  belonging  to  the  districts  of  Holborn,  Clerkenwell,  and 
St.  Luke's.  The  management  of  this  is  greatly  in  the  hands 
of  women,  and  the  same  system  of  part  payment  by  the 
parents,  where  such  is  possible,  is  adopted.  Then  there  are 
ten  small  Holiday  Homes  in  direct  connection  with  the 
Ragged  School  Union,  where  again  we  find  women  to  the 
front.  And  this  society  has  also  a  fund  for  sending  children 
for  one  day  to  the  country ;  excellent  so  far  as  it  goes — 
certainly  "  better  than  nothing." 

There  is  a  small  but  admirably  managed  Seaside  Home 
where  twelve  little  girls  at  a  time  may  spend  a  happy  three 
weeks  or  month  at  Littlehampton.  This  is  an  entirely 
private  charity  belonging  to  the  Sisterhood  at  St  Peter's, 
Kilburn.  Another  home  where  (as  well  as  their  mothers) 
girls  and  little  boys  are  received  for  a  small  payment,  has 
been  in  existence  for  some  years  at  Petersfield,  Hants.  This 
also  is  a  thoroughly  private  charity,  belonging  to  the  Hon. 
Mrs.  Bonham  Carter.  It  is  known  as  the  "  Street  Cottage 
Home."  Among  Lady  Ashburton's  Homes  of  Rest  at 
Addiscombe  is  one  for  children — boys  and  girls  alternately — 
where  for  a  fortnight  at  a  time  they  may  enjoy  and  benefit 
by  the  country  air. 

Then  there  is  the  Cottage  Home  at  Totteridge,  Hertford- 

Woman  s  Mission. 

shire,  where  any  poor  London  child  in  want  of  "  country  air 
and  nourishing  food,"  if  passed  as  in  no  need  of  quarantine, 
is  considered  eligible  for  admission  in  its  turn.  This  home 
is  altogether  a  "  women's  work,"  as  is  another  on  very  similar 
lines  near  Twyford,  Berkshire,  which  is  known  by  the  pretty 
and  attractive  name  of  "  The  Buttercups,"  under  the  manage- 
ment of  its  foundress  Miss  Whitaker.  Another  home  in  the 
same  neighbourhood,  superintended  by  two  sisters,  the  Misses 
Beale,  is  perhaps  rather  more  of  a  convalescent  than  a 
holiday  home.  But  in  many  cases  no  very  hard  and  fast 
line  is  drawn  between  convalescence  and  need  of  country  air, 
though  it  makes  the  selection  of  holiday  homes  for  notice 
somewhat  perplexing. 

As  is  the  case  in  the  other  charities  we  have  been  con- 
sidering, we  find  in  these  country  holiday  schemes,  Jewish 
ladies  very  much  to  the  fore.  They  are  both  most  liberal 
with  their  time,  trouble,  and  money  for  work  of  general 
benefit,  and  most  conscientious  in  providing  for  the  little 
ones  of  their  own  community.  Four  hundred  and  fifty 
Jewish  children  are  sent  yearly  to  the  holiday  homes  they 
have  established  at  Neasden,  Waltham  Abbey,  etc.,  and  in 
many  country  houses  belonging  to  wealthy  Jewish  families 
the  children  of  their  poorer  brethren  are  received  regularly 
every  summer. 

Another  centre  of  this  special  good  work — that  of  the 
Children's  Holiday  Fund  for  Marylebone — has  only  been 
brought  to  my  notice  since  writing  the  foregoing  pages. 
This  society — founded  in  1883  by  the  Misses  Brooke, 
daughters  of  Mr.  Stopford  Brooke,  and  managed,  I  believe, 
entirely  by  themselves  and  their  girl  friends — though  not  one 
of  the  largest,  is  yet  now  a  very  important  one,  as  can  be 
seen  by  the  increase  of  its  figures  both  as  to  income  and  as 
to  the  number  of  little  people  benefited.  The  first  year 
saw  187  children  despatched  to  the  country;  in  1891  these 
figures  had  increased  to  1298,  while  the  income  for  this  same 
year  amounted  to  £105  2.  The  working  of  this  society  is 
excellent ;  everything  is  gone  into  with  the  most  scrupulous 
care,  and  it  is  found  possible  to  extend  the  holiday  time  for 
each  child  to  three  instead  of  the  ordinary  two  weeks,  at  no 
greater  cost  than  in  other  cases  is  expended  on  the  shorter 

For  the  Little  Ones — "Food,  Fun,  and  Fresh  Air''  33 

period.  "  Rocks  ahead,"  in  the  shape  of  the  charity  being  dis- 
. honestly  taken  advantage  of  by  those  who  do  not  need  it  ;  of 
untrustworthy  "  foster  parents  "  as  they  may  be  called  for  the 
time,  or  unmanageable  naughtiness,  or  other  distinct  disqualifi- 
cations on  the  part  of  the  young  guests,  seem  to  have  been 
avoided  by  this  bright  little  society  with  marvellous  dexterity  ; 
thanks  in  this  case  most  certainly  to  "good  management," 
rather  than  "  good  luck  " !  I  should  attribute  this  marked 
success  in  very  great  measure  to  the  strong  personal  element 
in  the  organization  ;  an  element  of  which  the  advantage  is 
so  realized  by  the  ladies  who  manage  it,  that  in  1891,  feeling 
that  the  growth  of  the  society  was  tending  to  the  loss  or 
lessening  of  this  personal  feeling,  that  it  was  becoming  too 
much  "a  matter  of  business,"  to  use  their  secretary's  own 
words,  and  that  the  original  close  acquaintance  with  their 
little  protigh  and  their  families  could  not  be  maintained  as 
it  had  been,  "  decentralization,"  to  use  a  very  big  word,  was 
unselfishly  decided  upon.  The  central  society  was  reduced 
by  the  formation  of  a  dozen  or  more  smaller  ones,  whiclv 
though  supported  to  a  certain  extent  by  the  parent  one,  are 
yet  responsible  for  their  own  work,  subject  only  to  a  few 
broad  regulations. 

This  is  the  real  spirit  in  which  such  work  should  be  con- 
ducted ;  not  that  of  self-aggrandizement  or  love  of  power, 
but  of  honest  readiness  to  consider  first  of  all  the  good  of 
those  to  be  benefited.  And  one  of  the  side  issues,  the 
delightful  flowers  to  be  culled  from  this  eminently  pretty  and 
most  lovable  charity,  is  the  bringing  together  the  workers 
and  the  worked  for.  Long  before  the  holiday  season  begins 
these  young  ladies  are  going  in  and  out  among  the  homes  of 
their  "holiday  children,"  or  looking  up  new  ones — hearing 
in  the  former  case  all  that  has  happened  since  last  year,  or 
bringing  smiles  to  the  little  white  faces  to  whom  as  yet 
such  things  are  but  words,  by  the  promise  for  them  too  of 
"  meadows  filled  with  happy  flowers,"  or  "  woods  where  the 
wild  birds  sing." 

"The  starting  day,"  writes  Miss  Honor  Brooke,  "  is  great 
fun  for  parents,  children,  and  workers  ;  we  fly  from  station- 
to  station,  sometimes  ourselves  accompanying  large  batches 
to  their  destination" — and  no  praise  can  be  too  high  for 


34  Woman 's  Mission. 

"  the  loving  attention  given  to  their  guests  by  the  "  (carefully 
chosen)  "country  fathers  and  mothers,"  nor  to  the  clergymen 
and  ladies  of  the  various  villages  where  they  are  sent,  for 
their  thorough  superintendence." 

Yes — the  fresh-air-for-the-little-ones  movement  is  a  de- 
lightful charity,  one  whose  beautiful  results  are  not  far  to 
seek.  Well  may 

"  The  all-beholding  sun 
Laugh  with  joy  to  see  the  sight," 


*f  Sunken  eyes  with  darkness  dun 
Fill  and  shine  with  jollity," 

when  the  little  town  sparrows  learn  to 

"  Hail  with  all  the  birds  the  morn, 
Race  and  laugh  the  live-long  day  ; 

And  at  even,  tired  with  mirth, 
Rest,  and  sleeping,  dream  of  play." 

There  is  much  to  cheer  and  encourage  in  even  this  frag- 
mentary and  superficial  review  of  these  three  departments 
of  charitable  work  among  children,  which  we  have  been 
considering.  For  the  few  I  have  named  give  but  a  feeble 
idea  of  the  many  others  on  more  or  less  the  same  lines  which 
exist  throughout  the  whole  country,  and  of  which  those  in  or 
near  the  metropolis  may  be  taken  as  typical.  It  is  cheering 
to  see  how  much  has  been  done ;  it  is  encouraging  and  in- 
spiriting to  feel  how  much  more  may  be  done — especially 
in  the  directions  of  brightening  our  poor  children's  lives  by 
happy  evenings  at  home  and  happy  days  in  the  country. 
Modestly  and  unobtrusively,  at  comparatively  small  cost  and 
in  many  cases  by  private  effort  alone,  this  kindly  work  can 
be  successfully  carried  on.  There  are  few,  if  any,  of  our 
upper  or  middle-class  families  who  cannot  do  something'  in 
this  direction.  It  is  above  all  and  essentially  a  work  for 
women ;  a  beautiful  work ;  one  of  those  of  which  the  good 
results  are  not  far  to  seek.  It  is  no  case  of  waiting  till  "after 
many  days  ; "  for  surely  in  the  merry  voices,  the  brightening 
eyes  and  rosier  cheeks  of  the  children,  the  loving  hearts  who 
care  for  them  find  an  ample  and  sure  reward. 



IN  mediaeval  days,  many  cunningly  devised  arrangements 
were  in  force  for  reclaiming  the  lost,  and  bringing  back  into 
the  narrow  path  those  who  had  strayed.  In  modern  times, 
however,  it  is  held  to  be  safer,  wiser,  more  humane,  to  guide 
than  to  rescue.  Latter-day  philanthrophy  is  essentially  pre- 
ventive in  character.  The  problem  it  sets  itself  to  solve  is, 
how  are  the  young  to  be  kept  from  falling  ?  When  once 
they  are  down,  trying  to  raise  them  is  heart-breaking  work  at 
best.  Thus  the  warding-off  of  evil  is  the  chief  aim  of  our 
most  important  benevolent  undertakings,  especially  of  those 
organized  for  securing  the  welfare  of  young  girls.  It  is 
difficult  to  realize  the  full  extent  of  the  work  which  is  now 
being  done  in  the  United  Kingdom  to  keep  girls  out  of 
harm's  way.  Institutions  for  their  benefit  may  be  counted 
by  the  hundreds  ;  time  and  money  alike  are  devoted  to  their 
service  without  stint.  There  is  not  a  town,  hardly  a  village, 
but  women  are  on  the  watch  there  to  shield  from  danger  the 
unstable,  and  make  rough  places  smooth  for  the  weak.  All 
ranks  and  all  creeds  are  at  one  in  striving  to  lighten  the 
burdens  of  our  girl-toilers,  and  bring  into  their  lives  bright- 
ness and  hope. 

Amongst  the  numberless  societies  for  helping  and  pro- 
tecting girls,  the  Metropolitan  Association  for  Befriending 
Young  Servants  holds  a  prominent  position.  The  circum- 
stances under  which  it  was  founded  give  a  special  interest  to 
this  society.  Some  twenty  years  ago,  our  London  Poor-Law 
guardians  were  brought  face  to  face  with  an  unpleasant  fact. 

36  Woman  s  Mission. 

The  majority  of  the  girls  for  whose  training  they  were  re- 
sponsible turned  out  worse  than  the  veriest  little  street 
wanderers  ;  and  "  she  who  is  born  in  a  workhouse  always 
returns  there  to  die,"  had  become  quite  a  proverb.  Some- 
thing must  be  done,  it  was  felt,  to  put  an  end  to  this  state 
of  things;  and,  as  the  guardians  did  not  know  what,  they 
appealed  to  Mrs.  Nassau  Senior  for  advice.  "  It  is  mothering 
the  girls  want,"  she  told  them  emphatically.  Now  "  mother- 
ing "  is  a  work  they  could  hardly  undertake — they  were  all 
men  in  those  days  ;  they  therefore  commissioned  Mrs.  Senior 
to  do  it  for  them.  Up  to  this  time  "  workhouse "  girls  had 
been  sent  out  into  the  world  at  fourteen  years  of  age,  and 
then  left  to  sink  or  float  as  best  they  could.  Mrs.  Senior 
speedily  put  an  end  to  this  arrangement.  Having  secured 
the  co-operation  of  a  number  of  ladies,  she  organized  the  Metro- 
politan Association  for  Befriending  Young  Servants,  every 
member  of  which  undertakes  to  act  as  friend,  adviser,  mother 
in  fact,  to  girls  trained  in  workhouses.  During  the  last  twenty 
years  the  association  has  extended  its  operations  in  the  most 
marvellous  fashion  ;  and  it  now  acts  as  general  protector  to 
all  the  servants  in  London  between  the  ages  of  thirteen  and 
twenty.  It  consists  of  a  central  committee,  thirty-two  dis- 
trict committees,  and  visitors  ;  in  all  some  eleven  hundred 
ladies.  The  central  committee  has  under  its  surveillance 
thirty-two  free  registries,  seven  training  homes,  a  conva- 
lescent home,  and  thirteen  servants'  lodging-homes.  It  is 
responsible  to  the  guardians  for  the  management  of  the 
institution,  and  has  full  control  of  its  expenditure.  Its  modus 
agendi  is  very  simple.  When  a  girl  leaves  the  workhouse 
for  service,  she  is  placed  by  the  guardians  under  the  care  of 
the  central  committee,  which  undertakes  to  watch  over  her 
and  report  to  them  at  intervals  as  to  what  she  is  doing.  The 
central  committee  passes  her  on  to  the  committee  for  the 
district  in  which  she  lives ;  and  this  committee,  in  its  turn, 
hands  her  over  to  a  lady-visitor,  who  is  specially  told  off  to 
take  care  of  her. 

The  office  of  a  visitor  is  no  sinecure ;  the  success  of  the 
whole  scheme  depends,  in  a  great  measure,  on  her  kindliness 
and  tact.  As  soon  as  she  receives  a  girl's  address,  she  must 
pay  her  mistress  a  visit ;  and  if  she  finds  the  situation  un- 

Women's  Work  for  the  Welfare  of  Girls.       37 

suitable  for  her  charge,  she  must  report  the  fact  to  the  com- 
mittee, which  will,  if  necessary,  receive  the  girl  into  one  of  its 
lodging-homes  until  another  place  can  be  found  for  her.  It 
often  happens  that  these  fourteen-year-old  servants  cannot 
do  their  work,  through  sheer  ignorance.  In  a  workhouse 
there  is  little  opportunity  of  seeing  how  things  should  be 
done  ;  and  children  brought  up  in  batches  are  always  lacking 
in  initiative.  In  such  cases,  it  is  the  duty  of  their  visitor  to 
arrange  for  them  to  be  sent  to  a  training-home,  where  they 
clean,  wash,  cook,  etc.,  under  the  direction  of  a  skilful  house- 
wife, who  fits  them,  so  far  as  in  them  lies,  to  be  efficient  ser- 
vants. If  one  of  her  charges  be  ill,  the  visitor  must  see  that 
she  is  properly  taken  care  of.  No  matter  how  often  a  girl 
may  lose  her  place,  a  fresh  one  must  be  found  for  her ;  for 
a  visitor  may  not  pick  and  choose  amongst  her  prottgfas,  but 
must  do  her  best  for  good  and  bad  alike.  It  stands  on  record 
that  one  girl,  in  one  year,  was  provided  with  seventeen 
situations.  She  has  since  developed  into  quite  a  useful 
member  of  society. 

In  addition  to  these  her  definite  duties,  a  visitor  has  others 
of  a  more  delicate  nature.  It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  she 
has  no  legal  right  to  interfere  with  the  movements  of  these 
young  women,  and  that  many  of  them  keenly  resent  any- 
thing that  savours  of  dictation.  Her  only  chance  of  in- 
fluencing them,  therefore,  lies  in  convincing  them  that  she 
regards  them  as  friends ;  and  does  for  them  what  she  does 
through  personal  affection.  This  is  often  no  easy  task,  and 
it  speaks  volumes  in  praise  of  the  association  that  its  mem- 
bers should  so  rarely  fail  in  winning  the  confidence  of  those 
whom  they  strive  to  help.  Many  ladies  introduce  a  little 
variety  into  the  lives  of  their  protegees  by  arranging  for  them, 
when  they  have  a  holiday,  some  expedition  ;  or  by  taking 
them  to  a  place  of  amusement.  They  invite  them  to  tea 
from  time  to  time,  lend  them  books,  and  find  for  them  some 
girls'  club  where  they  can  pass  their  "  evenings  out."  These 
are  trifles,  of  course,  but  trifles  which  go  far  towards  winning 
girls'  love.  Some  visitors  make  a  point  of  going  with  their 
charges  when  on  shopping  bent.  The  uninitiated  can  form 
no  idea  of  the  value  of  the  service  they  thus  render.  The 
souls  of  servant-maids  hanker  sorely  after  feathers  and  flowers; 

38  Woman  s  Mission. 

and  their  love  of  gorgeous  colouring  is  quite  Oriental.  If  no 
judicious  friend  be  at  hand  when  they  buy  their  clothes,  they 
are  sure  to  let  their  fancy  run  riot ;  and,  at  one  fell  swoop, 
waste  their  money  and  bring  down  on  their  heads  the  wrath 
of  their  mistresses.  A  visitor,  though,  if  she  be  equal  to  her 
work,  can  easily  make  them  see  the  wisdom  of  choosing  gowns 
of  some  more  sober  hue  than  Rob  Roy  tartan.  The  most 
difficult,  however,  of  all  the  duties  that  fall  to  her  lot  is  that  of 
dealing  with  the  "  followers  "  of  her  charges.  Never  do  girls 
stand  more  in  need  of  "  mothering  "  than  when  their  thoughts 
begin  to  turn  to  love.  Then  a  little  friendly  interest,  the 
expression  of  a  wish  to  see  the  chosen  one,  a  few  cautiously 
worded  inquiries  as  to  his  character  and  means,  may  make 
all  the  difference  in  life  to  a  young  woman's  future. 

The  association  is  managed  in  the  most  businesslike 
fashion  ;  and  rigid  economy  is  practised  in  every  department. 
In  1891,  its  working  expenses  amounted  to  ,-£7484  is.  id. ; 
and  the  number  of  girls  whom  it  befriended  to  13,398. 
Already  it  has  wrought  a  wonderful  change  amongst  servants 
of  the  poorer  class.  When,  in  1873,  the  guardians  appealed 
to  Mrs.  Senior  for  help,  not  16  per  cent,  of  workhouse  girls 
could  be  reported  later  in  life  as  doing  well.  At  the  present 
time,  90  per  cent,  of  them  turn  out  satisfactorily.  And  of 
the  10  per  cent  who  prove  failures,  the  majority  are  feeble- 
minded, a  class  most  difficult  to  deal  with.  The  Metropolitan 
Association  for  Befriending  Young  Servants  is  now  trying 
an  experiment  for  their  benefit.  It  has  just  opened  a  home 
where  girls  deficient  in  intellect,  will,  whilst  learning  to  earn 
their  own  livelihood,  be  carefully  guarded  from  the  dangers  to 
which  they  are  exposed  elsewhere.  The  association  restricts 
its  operations  to  London  ;  but  throughout  England  and  Scot- 
land there  are  societies  working  on  the  same  lines,  notably 
in  Bristol,  a  city  always  honourably  distinguished  in  good 

The  work  of  the  Young  Women's  Christian  Association 
lies  amongst  a  class  of  girls  who,  though  socially  better  placed 
than  servants,  often  stand  as  sorely  in  need  of  a  helping  hand. 
Year  by  year  hundreds  of  girls  drift  up  to  London  to  serve 
in  shops,  or  engage  in  some  kind  of  business.  As  often  as 

Women  s   Work  for  the  Welfare  of  Girls.       39 

not  they  have  no  friends  in  town,  no  place  to  go  to,  when 
their  work  is  done,  but  their  one  poor  little  room,  a  most  com- 
fortless and  expensive  refuge.  The  late  Lady  Kinnaird  was 
so  touched  by  the  loneliness  and  the  joylessness  of  the  lives 
many  of  these  girls  lead,  that  in  1856  she  opened  a  home  for 
them  near  Fitzroy  Square.  The  inmates  lived  together  as 
one  family,  and  infinite  trouble  was  taken  to  make  the  place 
as  bright  and  cheerful  as  possible.  The  first  home  proved 
such  a  decided  success  that  others  were  started.  Lady  Kin- 
naird's  institution  gradually  developed  until,  under  the  name 
of  the  Young  Women's  Christian  Association,  it  has  become 
quite  a  power  in  the  land.  It  is  now  well  to  the  fore  in  every 
department  of  work  for  girls.  It  has  established  branches  in 
all  quarters  of  the  globe,  in  Russia,  in  Hungary,  in  Japan  ; 
and  it  stands  in  close  relations  with  the  sister-society  in 
America.  Thus  no  matter  where  one  of  its  100,000  mem- 
bers may  go,  she  is  sure  of  a  welcome ;  friends  have  been 
secured  for  her  in  advance. 

The  London  branch  of  this  society  has  now  some  17,000 
members  on  its  roll.  It  owns  142  institutions  of  one  sort 
or  another,  including  nineteen  lodging-homes  for  girls.  No 
country  member  accepts  a  situation  in  London  until  its  cha- 
racter has  been  inquired  into  by  the  society.  If  it  prove 
satisfactory,  the  girl  is  put  in  communication  with  a  district 
secretary,  who  meets  her  at  the  station  when  she  arrives, 
installs  her  in  lodgings,  and  generally  looks  after  her.  All 
the  members  are  invited  to  pass  their  leisure  time  at  one  of 
the  society's  institutes,  where,  in  a  comfortable  pretty  room, 
they  may  read,  write,  or  chat  with  others  of  their  kind.  If 
their  tastes  incline  toward  self-improvement,  there  are  classes 
of  all  sorts,  at  nominal  fees,  which  they  may  join.  Arith- 
metic, book-keeping,  type-writing,  drawing,  singing,  and 
dressmaking,  are  amongst  the  subjects  taught ;  and  attached 
to  some  institutes  are  gymnasia.  Lectures  and  concerts,  too, 
are  given  there  from  time  to  time.  The  society  is  essentially 
religious  in  tone,  and  makes  great  efforts  to  bring  its  mem- 
bers together  on  Sundays  for  instruction — and  social  teas.  If 
a  girl  be  ill,  she  is  nursed  in  one  of  the  society's  homes ;  if 
she  need  rest,  a  holiday  is  arranged  for  her.  When  she  wishes 
to  change  her  situation,  there  is  a  special  secretary  to  give 

4O  Woman  s  Mission. 

her  advice,  and  an  agency  to  put  her  in  the  way  of  finding 
work.  If  she  have  a  fancy  for  roving,  cither  the  continental 
or  the  colonial  department  takes  charge  of  her;  and  if  she  have, 
as  sometimes  happens,  a  vocation  for  missionary  work,  she 
is  sent  to  the  society's  Training  Home.  And  for  all  that  is 
done  for  her,  she  contributes  one  shilling  a  year  towards  the 
expenses  of  the  society.  Little  wonder  the  London  branch 
finds  difficulty  in  making  both  ends  meet ;  the  marvel  is  that 
in  so  many  districts  the  work  should  be  self-supporting. 

In  connection  with  this  association,  the  Travellers'  Aid 
Society  is  doing  a  peculiarly  useful  work  in  a  very  unobtru- 
sive fashion.  There  is  a  certain  class  of  girls  who  lose  their 
heads  the  moment  they  enter  a  railway  station.  One  of  them 
was  found  the  other  day  standing  by  a  train,  without  the 
most  remotest  idea  as  to  where  she  wished  to  go.  Directions 
and  advice  are  wasted  upon  them  ;  the  only  thing  to  be  done 
is  to  put  them  and  their  luggage  into  a  carriage,  and  then, 
when  they  arrive  at  their  destination,  take  them  out  again. 
This  is  what  the  Travellers'  Aid  Society  undertakes  to  do. 
It  will,  if  asked,  meet  any  girl  who  is  travelling  alone,  and 
see  her  safe  on  her  way.  It  has  also  agents  near  all  the  chief 
railway  stations,  to  whom  belated  travellers,  providing  they 
be  girls,  may  apply  for  a  night's  lodging. 

The  Girls'  Friendly  Society  is  rather  a  guild  of  mutual 
aid  than  a  charitable  institution  in  the  ordinary  meaning  of 
the  term.  Its  motto  is  "Bear  ye  one  another's  burdens;" 
and  the  lesson  it  seeks  to  impress  on  its  members  is,  that 
they  should  be  as  ready  to  give  help  as  to  receive  it.  The 
society  was  founded  in  1875,  by  Mrs.  Townsend,  for  the 
purpose  of  uniting  in  one  great  fellowship  women  and  girls 
of  all  ranks.  The  associates  are  as  a  rule  ladies  of  culture  : 
the  members  are  of  all  sorts,  from  trained  teachers  to  work- 
house helps  ;  for  the  only  condition  the  society  imposes  on 
those  who  join  it,  is  that  they  shall  be  of  good  character,  and 
be  striving  to  do  their  work  in  life  honestly.  Each  associate 
undertakes  to  help  a  certain  number  of  members  by  all  the 
means  in  her  power,  but  especially  by  treating  them  as 
personal  friends.  The  members  in  their  turn  arc  bound  to 

Women  s   Work  for  the   Welfare  of  Girls.       4 1 

act  as  friends  to  each  other.  This  idea  of  universal  friend- 
liness underlies  the  whole  work  of  the  society.  It  is  the 
lever  by  which  it  is  sought  at  once  to  raise  the  moral 
standard  of  girls  and  young  women,  and  shield  them  from 

The  organization  of  the  Girls'  Friendly  Society  is  some- 
thing of  which  women  may  well  be  proud  ;  it  is  necessarily 
so  complex,  and  yet  it  works  so  smoothly.  England  and 
Wales,  Scotland,  Ireland,  the  Colonies,  America,  and  North 
Central  Europe,  have  each  a  separate  autonomous  society, 
the  only  connecting  link  amongst  them  being  the  Central 
Council  in  London.  They  all,  however,  obey  the  same  laws, 
strive  for  the  same  objects,  and  each  grants  the  members  of 
its  sister  societies  the  same  privileges  as  its  own  enjoy.  The 
English  society  stands  in  close  relations  to  the  Established 
Church,  of  which  it  is  a  powerful  auxiliary.  It  has  now  1126 
branches,  each  of  which  includes  at  least  one  parish.  The 
secretaries  of  all  the  branches  in  a  diocese  form  a  diocesan 
council  ;  the  presidents  of  the  diocesan  councils,  together 
with  the  colonial  and  foreign  presidents,  the  heads  of  depart- 
ments, and  ten  elected  members,  form  the  Central  Council. 
This  Council  is  responsible  for  the  management  of  the  society. 
The  work  is  divided  into  ten  departments,  each  with  its  own 
honorary  officials.  The  first  department  devotes  itself  to 
promoting  the  interests  of  the  better  educated  of  the  members, 
such  as  teachers.  The  second  takes  charge  of  those  who 
work  in  factories  ;  the  third,  of  those  who  are  servants  ;  the 
fourth,  of  those  who  have  been  brought  up  in  workhouses. 
Then  there  is  a  department  which  manages  the  free  registries 
the  society  has  established  in  all  parts  of  the  kingdom  ; 
another  which  looks  after  the  lodges,  recreation -rooms,  and 
lodging-homes  ;  another,  again,  which  gives  aid  to  those  who 
wish  to  emigrate.  The  eighth  is  responsible  for  the  schools 
and  homes  in  which  the  members  may  receive  industrial 
training  ;  the  ninth  undertakes  to  provide,  by  means  of  circu- 
lating libraries  and  magazines,  all  classes  with  cheap  and 
wholesome  literature.  The  department,  however,  which  takes 
charge  of  the  members  when  they  are  ill,  is  the  one  doing, 
perhaps,  the  best  work  of  all.  It  has  established,  throughout 
the  country,  homes  in  which  the  weary  and  weak  are  nursed 

42  Woman  s  Mission. 

back  to  cheerfulness  and  health.  Last  year  3853  members 
received  help,  of  one  sort  or  another,  through  this  de- 
partment. The  society  is  practically  self-supporting,  each 
member  contributing  one  shilling  a  year,  and  each  associate 
two  and  sixpence,  towards  its  working  expenses.  In 
1891,  the  expenditure  of  the  central  office  amounted  to 
£3454  Ss.  $d. 

In  Scotland  the  society  is  making  very  rapid  progress, 
and  is  striking  out  new  lines  of  work  for  itself,  especially  with 
regard  to  the  temperance  movement.  In  Ireland,  too,  it  is 
doing  good  and  much-needed  work.  In  England,  Ireland, 
and  Scotland  together  the  society  has  now  on  its  rolls 
165,908  members,  33,657  associates,  and  38,492  candidates. 
Thus  it  has  succeeded  in  bringing  into  friendly  intercourse, 
for  mutual  aid  and  sympathy,  some  238,057  women  and  girls. 

The  Ladies'  Association  for  the  Care  of  Friendless  Girls 
differs  from  the  two  societies  with  which  we  have  last  dealt 
in  that,  whilst  they  insist  upon  unblemished  reputation  as  a 
sine  qud  non  of  membership,  it  devotes  itself  with  special  zeal 
to  helping  those  upon  whom  the  world  is  somewhat  inclined 
to  look  askance.  It  owes  its  origin  to  a  sort  of  crusade  on 
behalf  of  the  young  which  Miss  Ellice  Hopkins  carried  on  for 
some  years.  She  travelled  about  from  town  to  town  trying 
to  arouse  active  sympathy  for  girls.  The  direct  outcome  of 
her  appeals  was  that,  in  many  towns,  ladies  banded  them- 
selves together  to  take  care  of  the  friendless.  There  are  now 
one  hundred  and  twenty  of  these  associations,  all  perfectly 
autonomous,  all  working  out  their  salvation  in  their  own  way. 
The  advantage  of  this  arrangement  is  that  an  association 
can  adapt  itself  to  the  special  needs  of  its  own  district.  Thus 
some  devote  themselves  to  temperance  work  ;  others  to 
educational ;  others,  again,  to  warding  off  starvation  from 
their  charges.  They  all  unite,  however,  in  trying  to  remove 
girls  from  dangerous  surroundings,  and  putting  them  in  the 
way  of  earning  an  honest  livelihood.  The  members  regularly 
visit  workshops,  lodging-houses  of  the  worst  kind,  police- 
courts,  all  the  places  in  fact  where  there  is  a  chance  of  coming 
across  young  lives  in  danger  of  shipwreck.  These  ladies 
have  proved  themselves  doughty  champions,  and  have  waged 

Women's  Work  for  the  Welfare  of  Girls.       43 

ruthless  warfare  against  unjust  employers  and  drunken 
vicious  parents.  Many  are  the  girls  they  have  rescued  from 
"sweating  dens  ;"  many,  too,  from  home  surroundings  just  as 
degrading.  They  have  industrial  schools  and  refuges  in 
which  they  place  their  protigtes  until  some  of  the  taint  of 
evil  example  can  be  eradicated.  Here  they  are  carefully 
trained  and  then  provided  with  employment.  There  are 
to-day  in  our  Colonies  numbers  of  young  women  leading 
happy  useful  lives,  who  owe  their  rescue  from  the  very  Slough 
of  Despond  to  the  efforts  of  the  Ladies'  Association. 

In  addition  to  these  four  great  societies,  every  religious 
community  has  its  own  organizations  for  helping  girls.  The 
Church  of  England  has  sixteen  sisterhoods,  all  of  which,  with 
the  deaconesses  at  their  head,  devote  themselves  more  or 
less  to  this  work.  The  Roman  Catholics  are  particularly 
rich  in  homes  and  refuges.  The  Presbyterians  have  formed 
Bands  of  Promise,  Guilds,  and  Clubs,  that  they  may  the  more 
effectually  watch  over  their  girls  ;  and  the  Wesleyan  Metho- 
dists have  established  for  theirs  the  Order  of  the  Sisters  of 
the  People.  These  Sisters  try  to  bring  good  influences  to 
bear  on  the  young  women  who  live  in  the  East  End.  They 
invite  them  to  spend  their  evenings  in  the  home ;  and,  by 
kindly  hospitality  and  friendliness,  strive  to  awaken  amongst 
them  a  sense  of  decency  and  order.  They  teach  them  how 
to  make  and  mend  clothes,  try  to  find  employment  for  them, 
and  admit  those  who  are  quite  destitute  into  their  refuge. 
Convinced  that  a  woman's  true  vocation  is  that  of  a  wife,  the 
Sisters  are  now  devising  means  for  bringing  their  prot/gtes, 
under  proper  chaperonage,  into  friendly  intercourse  with 
suitable  partis.  Mrs.  Bramwell  Booth  and  Miss  Meredith 
Browne  are  doing  most  valuable  work,  on  similar  lines, 
amongst  factory  girls.  The  Jews,  too,  show  peculiar  tender- 
ness and  wisdom  in  the  way  they  take  care  of  the  young. 
An  English  Jewess,  until  she  is  eighteen  years  old,  is  more 
or  less  under  the  surveillance  of  a  committee  of  ladies,  to 
whom  she  may  apply  at  any  time  for  advice  or  help.  This 
committee  feeds  the  hungry,  clothes  the  needy,  and  sees  that 
all  who  are  willing  to  work  are  put  in  the  way  of  employ- 
ment. The  Jewish  working  guilds  are  a  most  useful  insti- 

44  Woman  s  Mission. 

tution,  and  in  the  training-rooms  in  connection  with  them, 
girls  have  every  opportunity  of  learning  a  lucrative  calling. 
There  are  free  evening  classes,  too,  in  which  cooking,  dress- 
making, singing,  and,  strange  to  say,  elocution  are  taught. 
The  Ladies'  Committee  manages  two  Homes  for  young 
Jewesses,  and  several  Convalescent  Homes.  Every  Sunday 
evening  large  tea-parties  are  given,  in  which  ladies  from  the 
West  End  play  the  hostess  to  working  girls  down  East. 
Concerts  and  other  amusements  are  provided  for  them  ;  and, 
from  time  to  time,  Lady  Rothschild  invites  them  to  a  ball. 

Most  of  the  Missions,  as  the  St.  George's  Yard  and  the 
Latymer  Road,  have  branches,  managed  by  ladies,  for  helping 
girls  ;  others  again,  as  the  Theatrical  and  the  Flower  Girls' 
Missions,  are  chiefly  for  their  benefit.  The  Flower  Girls' 
Mission  was  started  by  a  Clerkenwell  workman  named  Groom, 
who,  when  little  more  than  a  boy,  began  to  act  as  the  special 
evangelist  of  the  flower-sellers.  Every  morning  by  daybreak 
he  was  in  the  flower-market,  advising  and  exhorting  these 
girls,  and  acting  as  peace-maker  among  them.  He  opened 
a  room  for  them  to  rest  in  when  their  work  was  done ;  and 
persuaded  ladies  to  help  him  to  teach  them,  in  the  evening, 
to  read,  write,  and  sew,  and  generally  civilize  them.  The  life 
these  girls  lead  is  one  of  great  hardship.  They  must  tramp 
about  in  the  street  the  whole  day  long,  haunted,  too,  as  often 
as  not,  by  the  knowledge  that  their  chance  of  supper  and  a 
bed  at  night  depends  on  their  selling  their  flowers.  At  the 
best  of  times,  even  when  trade  is  brisk,  they  are  at  the  mercy 
of  the  veriest  chance :  a  high  wind,  a  sharp  frost,  or  sudden 
heat,  may  any  day  destroy  their  whole  stock-in-trade,  and 
thus  bring  them  face  to  face  with  starvation.  In  the  hope  of 
rendering  the  existence  of  the  younger  among  them  less 
precarious,  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  in  1879,  founded 
her  Flower  Girls'  Brigade.  She  enrolled  the  flower-sellers, 
between  the  ages  of  thirteen  and  fifteen,  in  a  regular  com- 
pany, and  placed  them  under  the  special  protection  of  the 
police.  She  arranged  that,  instead  of  wandering  about  the 
streets  with  their  wares,  they  should  have  fixed  stations  where 
they  could  display  them  for  sale  without  fear  of  molestation. 
Then,  to  give  stability  to  their  trade,  the  Baroness  tried  to 
induce  ladies  to  purchase  flowers  of  them  on  fixed  days. 

Women  s  Work  for  the  Welfare  of  Girls.      45 

This  attempt  to  place  their  industry  on  a  regular  footing  led 
to  some  curious  experiences ;  for  the  girls,  although  scrupu- 
lously honest  as  a  rule,  have  a  business  code  of  their  own. 
No  arguments  could  convince  them  that  their  merchandise, 
when  once  sold,  was  no  longer  theirs,  but  the  purchaser's. 
Thus,  if  one  of  them  whilst  en  route  to  deliver  flowers  selected 
by  some  lady,  with  great  care  perhaps,  had  the  chance  of 
selling  them  at  a  higher  price,  she  promptly  did  so,  return- 
ing in  triumph  to  head-quarters  to  claim  praise  for  her  'cute- 
ness.  It  was  no  unusual  thing  for  customers,  who  had  ordered 
table  decorations  for  some  special  occasion,  to  receive  at  the 
last  moment,  instead  of  their  roses  and  lilies,  a  message  to 
the  effect  that  they  couldn't  have  any  flowers  that  night,  but 
should  have  some  real  beauties  the  next  morning !  That  ladies 
should  prefer  having  flowers  one  day  rather  than  another, 
was  quite  incomprehensible  to  these  naive  little  traders. 

The  Brigade  proved  an  inestimable  benefit  to  those  for 
whom  it  was  instituted  ;  still,  it  soon  became  apparent  that 
flower-selling,  particularly  during  the  winter,  was  too  un- 
certain a  calling  to  be  quite  suitable  for  young  girls.  The 
Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  therefore,  for  the  sake  of  providing 
her  brigade  with  regular  employment,  started  an  artificial 
flower  factory.  Here,  under  careful  training,  many  of  the 
girls  have  developed  quite  a  genius  for  their  craft.  Having 
passed  all  their  days  amongst  natural  flowers,  they  seem  to 
know  by  instinct  what  to  strive  for  in  making  artificial  ones. 
They  literally  delight  in  their  work,  and  lavish  care  and 
attention  on  the  delicate  trifles  they  manufacture.  As  all 
the  girls,  no  matter  how  incapable,  receive  regular  wages,  the 
factory  has  been  a  somewhat  costly  experiment ;  but  it  has 
proved  a  great  success.  The  flowers  made  there  are  sent  to 
all  parts  of  the  world  ;  some  have  even  made  their  way  to 
the  World's  Fair  at  Chicago.  Attached  to  the  factory  is  a 
home,  where  these  little  work-people  are  taught  to  clean, 
cook,  and  generally  play  the  housewife.  Such  of  them  as 
show  more  taste  for  this  work  than  for  flower-making,  are 
trained  as  servants,  and  provided  with  situations.  Some 
eight  hundred  girls  have  already  passed  through  the  factory, 
and  of  these  95  per  cent,  are  "doing  well,"  i.e.  are  respectable 
women,  earning  an  honest  livelihood,  and  making  the  world 

46  Woman  s  Mission. 

the  brighter  and  the  better  for  their  presence.  The  Brigade, 
the  Flower  Girls'  Guild,  and  the  Mission  are  now  all  united  ; 
and  the  whole  work  is  carried  on  under  the  superintendence 
of  Mr.  Groom. 

The  flower-sellers,  as  other  impecunious  traders,  derive 
no  small  benefit  from  the  Emily  Loan  Fund,  instituted  by 
the  late  Lord  Shaftesbury  in  memory  of  his  wife.  In  winter, 
when  flowers  are  scarce,  the  managers  of  the  fund  lend  out 
to  these  girls  potato-ovens,  coffee-stalls,  wheelbarrows,  etc., 
together  with  some  little  stock-in-trade.  The  borrowers  pay  a 
weekly  sum  for  the  use  of  these  things,  which,  in  time,  become 
their  own  property.  Money  too,  from  five  shillings  to  twenty 
shillings,  is  advanced  to  those  who,  by  some  unexpected  turn 
in  Fortune's  wheel,  find  themselves  destitute.  Trifling  in 
amount  as  these  loans  are,  they  set  on  her  feet  many  a  poor 
girl,  who  is  down,  perhaps,  through  no  fault  of  her  own. 
Penniless,  she  can  only  drift  to  the  workhouse  or  the  river : 
with  twenty  shillings  in  hand,  she  is  a  capitalist,  endless  pos- 
sibilities lying  before  her.  These  loans  are  regarded  by 
lenders  and  borrowers  alike  as  debts  of  honour,  and  are 
almost  invariably  repaid  most  punctiliously.  The  very 
roughest  of  our  floating  population  would  hoot  the  man  or 
woman  who  ventured  to  defraud  the  Emily  Loan  Fund. 

The  Homes  for  Working  Girls,  which  are  now  to  be  found 
in  all  our  great  industrial  centres,  are  most  valuable  insti- 
tutions. The  inmates  are  provided  with  food  and  lodging 
at  cost  price,  and  a  resident  lady  superintendent  tries  to 
make  their  lives  pleasant.  Then  there  are  the  Brabazon 
Homes  of  Rest  for  shop-girls,  three  hundred  training  homes 
for  servants,  and  colonies  of  cottage  homes,  in  all  of  which 
good  work  for  girls  is  being  done.  A  special  interest  is 
attached  to  St.  Chad's  Home,  at  Leeds,  owing  to  the  class 
of  girls  received  there.  They  are  the  very  waifs  and  strays 
of  society,  the  deformed,  the  rough,  the  utterly  forsaken,  yet 
the  great  majority  of  them  in  the  end  turn  out  well.  They 
are  put  through  a  regular  course  of  training,  and  then,  those 
who  are  suitable  are  sent  to  the  colonies,  whilst  the  rest 
remain  at  St.  Chad's  and  work  in  the  knitting  factory. 

Benevolence,  in  its  zeal  for  the  welfare  of  girls,  assumes 

Women's   Work  for  the  Welfare  of  Girls.      47 

divers  forms.  The  National  Housewifery  Association,  and 
the  Guild  of  Aid  to  Home  Duties,  make  great  efforts  to  train 
them  to  be  good  housewives ;  and  an  interesting  experiment 
for  the  same  purpose  is  being  tried  at  Richmond.  The  most 
successful  Housewifery  School  in  the  kingdom,  however,  is 
that  established  by  Mrs.  Elder  at  Govan.  There  some 
hundreds  of  girls,  who  during  the  day  work  in  factories, 
are  in  the  evening  fitted  for  their  future  duties  as  mothers 
of  families.  They  are  taught  the  simple  laws  of  hygiene, 
and  are  shown  how  to  clean,  wash,  make  clothes,  and,  above 
all,  cook.  Every  Saturday  evening,  numbers  of  girls  and 
women  take  the  materials  for  their  Sunday  dinners  to  the 
school,  and  cook  them  under  the  supervision  of  a  skilful 
teacher.  All  the  things  made  are  of  the  most  inexpensive 
kind,  depending  for  their  value  on  careful  seasoning  and 
handling;  for  the  object  of  the  school  is  to  teach  how  to 
provide  palatable  nutritious  food  at  the  least  possible  cost. 
What  Mrs.  Elder  is  doing  for  cookery,  Lady  Brooke  does 
for  needlework.  In  her  village  schools  girls  are  trained  to 
be  the  veriest  Penelopes.  As  for  the  educational  advantages 
within  the  reach  of  working  girls,  of  these  there  is  now 
neither  end  nor  limit.  A  special  society  directs  their  technical 
training;  whilst  at  women's  colleges,  mechanics'  institutes, 
Polytechnics,  continuation  classes,  extension  lectures,  and 
evening  clubs,  they  are  taught  whatever  they  wish  to  learn, 
and  practically  for  nothing.  There  are  agencies  at  work  to 
awake  them  to  the  importance  of  physical  culture,  and  pro- 
vide them  with  gymnasia  and  swimming  baths.  Some  devoted 
ladies  correspond  with  girls ;  others,  in  the  hope  of  raising 
their  taste,  conduct  them  by  twos  and  threes  to  picture- 
galleries  and  museums.  Then  the  Society  for  the  Protection 
of  Women  and  Children  guards  them  from  injustice;  whilst 
the  Vigilance  Society  is  always  on  the  alert  to  bring  down 
vengeance  on  those  who  do  them  harm. 

In  spite,  however,  of  all  that  is  done,  some  girls  "go 
wrong;"  for  human  nature  is  the  same  in  all  ranks,  and 
maids  have  just  as  keen  a  love  of  pleasure  and  fine  clothes 
as  their  mistresses.  To  one  a  paltry  little  brooch  proves  an 
irresistible  temptation  ;  to  another,  the  chance  of  excitement ; 
whilst  numbers  fall  through  sheer  ignorance  of  the  realities 

48  Woman  s  Mission. 

of  life.  No  work  that  women  do  is  better  worth  doing  than 
that  of  rescuing  those  who  are  at  "  the  parting  of  the  ways,"  or 
have  taken  perhaps  a  step  to  the  left.  First  offenders,  as 
they  are  called,  stand  terribly  in  need  of  womanly  sympathy, 
womanly  help.  In  England  alone  there  are  more  than  a 
hundred  homes  in  which  girls,  convicted  of  a  first  offence, 
are  given  the  chance  of  redeeming  their  characters.  The 
best  known  of  these  is  that  established  by  Miss  Neave, 
Elizabeth  Fry's  devoted  fellow-worker.  In  the  Trewint 
and  the  Princess  Louise  Industrial  Homes,  and  many  of  the 
industrial  schools,  girls  are  taken  charge  of,  whom,  though 
criminal,  magistrates  are  loth  to  send  to  prison.  Miss  Steer, 
too,  has,  in  connection  with  her  Bridge  of  Hope,  homes  for 
girls  who  are  exposed  to  special  danger  owing  to  their 
surroundings.  She  has  a  most  hopeful  tale  to  tell  of  the 
way  her  protegees,  when  once  removed  from  evil  influences, 
turn  instinctively  to  good.  An  admirable  arrangement 
which  has  been  in  force  for  some  years  in  Birmingham,  is 
gradually  being  adopted  in  many  of  our  large  towns.  A 
number  of  ladies  appointed  by  the  magistrates  visit  the 
prisons  in  turn  every  morning,  and  have  private  interviews 
with  the  women  and  girls  who  are  to  appear  before  the 
Bench.  These  ladies  hear  the  prisoners'  own  account  of 
the  affair  that  has  brought  them  into  trouble ;  accompany 
them  into  court ;  urge  in  their  favour  any  circonstances 
attenuantes  which  may  exist;  and,  in  the  case  of  first 
offenders,  often  induce  the  magistrates  to  hand  the  girls  over 
to  their  keeping  rather  than  send  them  to  prison.  When 
this  is  done,  they  place  their  charges  in  training  homes, 
where  they  are  carefully  prepared  for  a  fresh  start  in  life. 

In  every  part  of  the  world  much  noble  work  of  true 
benevolence  is  being  done  by  women  for  the  sake  of  their 
younger  and  poorer  sisters  ;  but  the  need  is  great,  and  much 
still  remains  to  be  accomplished.  There  must  be  no  resting 
on  oars,  in  England  or  elsewhere,  until  life  has  been  made  for 
working  girls  as  keenly  interesting  and  as  secure — as  pleasant, 
perhaps,  it  can  never  be — as  it  now  is  for  the  daughters  of 
the  richer  members  of  our  community.  How  far  we  are 
to-day  from  this  millenium,  few  realize  but  those  whose  work 
lies  amongst  the  poor. 

(     49     ) 


THE  establishment  of  Clubs  for  Working  Girls  is  compara- 
tively a  new  idea,  but  it  has  been  found  so  successful  that 
the  growth  of  these  institutions  in  England  has  been  quite 
enormous,  and  many  thousands  of  girls  are  now  brought 
under  the  influence  of  the  various  organizations  that  are 
established  for  Clubs  and  Evening  Homes.  They  are  not 
all  worked  in  the  same  way,  and  the  different  societies  have 
mostly  endeavoured  to  reach  different  classes  of  working 
people.  We  may  reckon  that  there  are  eight  organizations 
at  work  for  this  purpose — 

1.  The  clubs  for  working  girls  which  are  carried  on  with 
rules  more  or  less  similar  to  those  of  clubs  for  working  men. 
These   are   open  every  evening,  and  have   regular  paid    or 
unpaid  officials  connected  with  them. 

2.  There  are  what  are  called  Evening  Homes  for  Girls. 
These  are  chiefly  to  be  found  in  Nottingham,  and  have  no 
regular  superintendent;  but  ladies  arrange  to  take  charge  of 
them  on  different  evenings  in  the  week. 

3.  The    lodges   of  the    Girls'    Friendly  Society,   an    im- 
mense organization  all  over  England,  have  been  established 
in   almost  all  large   towns.     These   are   open    mostly  every 
evening  for  the  benefit  of  the  girls  who  belong  to  the  Girls' 
Friendly  Society. 

4.  The    Young    Women's    Help    Society,  a  very   large 
organization  which  mainly  benefits  factory  hands. 

5.  The  Young  Women's  Christian  Association,  which  has 
branches  not  only  in  England  but  all  over  the  world. 

6.  The   Recreative    Evenings   Association,   founded    for 


50  Woman's  Mission. 

neighbourhoods  where  club-buildings  cannot  be  had,  and  where 
the  Board  Schools  are  made  use  of. 

7.  There  is  the  Factory  Helpers'  Union,  which  endeavours 
to  reach  quite  the  lowest  of  factory  workers.     It  is  computed 
that  this  union  has  in  London  about  four  thousand  girls  under 
its  supervision. 

8.  Lastly,  there  are  the  numerous  Parochial  or  Congre- 
gational Guilds  of  Girls,  whose  meetings  may  be  but  once  or 
twice  a  week.     These  meetings  bring  the  members  of  the 
church  or  chapel  under  the  direct  influence  of  ladies. 

Most  of  the  clubs  are  worked  by  a  paid  superintendent, 
who  is  always  present  at  the  meetings,  and  is  assisted  by 
a  committee  of  working  girls.  How  a  club  is  worked  may 
be  shown  by  explaining  the  organization  of  the  Soho  Club 
for  Working  Girls,  which  was  the  first  established  in  England  ; 
in  1880.  Here  there  is  a  council  of  ladies  and  gentlemen, 
who  meet  from  time  to  time  to  decide  on  matters  respecting 
the  management  of  the  club,  and  to  arrange  for  the  girls' 
country  holidays  and  country  excursions,  as  well  as  for 
classes,  teachers,  and  recreations.  It  is  the  duty  of  the 
superintendent  to  be  present  every  evening  to  receive  the  fees 
of  the  members,  and  to  take  down  the  names  of  those  attend- 
ing the  class.  On  going  into  the  club  the  members  write  their 
names  in  a  book,  from  which  the  superintendent  is  able  to 
know  who  has  been  present  on  any  occasion,  and  how  many 
attendances  each  has  made.  This  record  of  attendance  is 
much  valued  by  the  members,  who  like  it  to  be  known  when 
they  have  been  present  in  the  club.  The  girls'  committee 
is  elected  annually  in  December  by  ballot  voting  of  all  the 
members.  Their  duty  is  to  see  that  the  class-rooms  are 
ready,  and  that  the  teachers  are  attended  to ;  and  they  also 
manage  the  refreshment  bar,  keeping  an  account  of  receipts 
and  expenditure.  They  have  monthly  soirees  to  which  mem- 
bers are  allowed  to  bring  their  friends,  and  the  committee 
have  to  provide  refreshments  and  arrange  for  singing  and 
dancing  during  the  evening.  They  are  also  expected  to 
receive  and  welcome  new  members,  or  ladies  who  may  visit 
the  club.  The  present  superintendent  became  a  member  of 
the  club  when  it  was  started  thirteen  years  ago.  She  and  the 
committee  work  well  together,  consulting  upon  any  suggested 

Clubs  for  Working  Girls.  5 1 

change  that  may  be  beneficial  to  the  members.  One  of  the 
yearly  Christmas  parties  for  the  new  and  younger  members 
is  managed  entirely  by  this  committee,  which  is  composed 
chiefly  of  the  older  members,  to  whom  the  young  ones 
naturally  look  up.  Wherever  a  girls'  committee  has  been 
formed  in  a  club  it  has  always  been  found  to  work  bene- 
ficially. The  ladies  of  the  council,  in  turn,  take  charge 
of  the  club  for  one  month,  looking  through  the  books, 
visiting  the  homes  of  new  members,  and  arranging  for  the 
soirees  and  musical  evenings  of  their  month  of  office. 

Classes  are  held  in  almost  all  the  clubs,  and  by  their  good 
organization  and  the  attendance  of  members  the  success  of 
the  club  is  best  shown.  The  members  soon  weary  of  amuse- 
ments only ;  it  is  the  classes  which  give  interest  and  life 
to  the  club.  The  favourite  is  the  singing  class.  At  this 
there  is  generally  a  large  attendance  ;  and  the  interest  of  the 
members  is  stimulated  by  a  competition  amongst  the  choirs 
of  the  London  Girls'  Club  Union,  held  once  a  year  at  the 
Inner  Temple  Hall,  when  a  cantata  is  sung  by  all  the  choirs, 
each  also  singing  a  competitive  piece.  At  the  close  of  the 
competition  the  choirs  are  ranked  according  to  their  merit, 
and  the  first  on  the  list  receives  a  challenge  picture  which 
is  held  for  one  year. 

Another  class  much  liked  is  that  for  musical  drill.  This 
has  a  very  beneficial  effect  upon  the  rougher  girls,  as  it  teaches 
them  punctuality,  discipline,  and  order.  In  this  also  there 
is  an  annual  competition,  and  a  challenge  shield  is  given  to 
the  successful  club.  . 

Dressmaking,  plain  needlework,  cutting-out,  art  needle- 
work, are  all  much  cared  for.  Specimens  of  some  art  needle- 
work done  in  the  Soho  Club  have,  by  the  kindness  of  the 
Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  been  sent  to  Chicago.  Of  these 
a  banner  has  been  embroidered  by  a  girl  who  works  at  Cross 
and  Black  well's  factory,  and  who  never  used  her  needle  after 
she  left  school  until  she  joined  the  class.  This  piece  of 
work  will  show  the  proficiency  which  may  be  reached  by 
factory  hands  under  good  instructors.  Almost  all  the  teachers 
of  the  classes  are  voluntary.  Many  of  them  may  be  trained 
teachers,  but  they  give  their  spare  time  in  this  way  to  help 
the  poorer  girls.  Cooking  is  a  very  favourite  class,  and  much 

52  Woman 's  Mission. 

valued  by  those  who  are  thinking  of  making  a  home  for 

Evening  schools  are  established  in  many  clubs,  but  the 
necessity  for  them  has  diminished  since  Board  schools  have 
had  the  power  of  compelling  attendance ;  and  the  girls  have 
mostly  reached  the  higher  standards  before  joining  the  clubs. 
The  more  advanced  classes  are  not  much  cared  for,  unless 
the  teacher  be  one  who  will  make  a  study  so  interesting  that 
it  cannot  fail  to  attract.  In  the  Soho  Club  we  have  had 
classes  in  English  literature,  English  history,  and  the  story 
of  Greek  heroines ;  they  have  been  very  much  appreciated, 
and  have  greatly  promoted  the  culture  of  working  girls,  while 
adding  to  their  interest  in  and  enjoyment  of  life. 

The  amusements  of  the  clubs  differ  according  to  the  ideas 
of  the  different  managers.  In  some  cases  dancing  is  not 
allowed,  and  the  recreation  will  consist  of  games  and  singing. 
In  the  Soho  Club  dancing  has  always  been  considered  very 
beneficial  to  the  members,  and  Friday  evening  is  devoted  to 
that  amusement.  Concerts  and  little  dramatic  performances 
are  often  arranged,  and  we  hear  of  bazaars  and  sales  being 
got  up  by  the  members  themselves.  To  a  great  extent,  how- 
ever, the  recreative  enjoyment  simply  consists  in  the  meeting 
of  friends  in  a  well-lighted  room,  where  rest  can  be  had 
amidst  pleasant  surroundings  after  the  long  hours  of  work. 
Different  games  are  always  going  on,  bagatelle,  reversi, 
draughts,  halma,  and  "happy  families." 

Their  country  excursions,  or  country  holidays,  are  the  club 
girls'  greatest  pleasure.  The  trips  to  the  country  are  chiefly 
on  the  Bank  holidays,  at  Easter,  Whitsuntide,  and  in  August, 
when  almost  all  clubs  arrange  to  take  their  girls  out  and  give 
them  a  pleasant  and  wholesome  day  away  from  the  smoke 
and  noise  of  the  town.  Better  still  is  it  when  the  girls  can 
have  their  one,  two,  or  three  weeks'  holiday  in  the  autumn. 
Some  few  clubs  have  homes  to  which  they  send  their  girls ; 
but  generally  the  girls  are  distributed  in  parties  of  two  or 
three  in  different  parts  of  England — it  may  be  in  homes  of 
rest  arranged  for  this  purpose,  or  in  cottages  and  farmhouses 
where  the  inmates  are  willing  to  receive  lodgers  at  that  time. 
Many  of  our  girls  in  Soho  can  recall  enchanting  visits  to  the 
friends  of  the  club — some  as  far  away  as  the  mountains  in 

Clubs  for  Working  Girls.  53 

Cumberland.  These  visits  to  country  houses,  so  happy  while 
they  lasted,  have  had  a  very  beneficial  influence  in  our  club. 
On  two  occasions,  sixteen  of  our  members,  with  one  of  the 
ladies,  have  been  invited  to  spend  three  days  in  a  country 
house ;  at  other  times  some  have  gone  with  a  lady  for  three 
days  or  a  week  to  the  seaside,  and  their  enjoyment  of  the 
freedom  and  the  beauty  of  Nature  is  delightful  to  witness. 
There  are  many  work-girls  who  get  no  holiday  in  the  year 
except  the  Bank  holidays ;  for  them,  visits  are  arranged 
from  the  Saturday  afternoon  to  the  Monday  evening.  Some 
ladies  invite  a  few  girls  for  a  Saturday  afternoon  tea-party, 
which  is  a  great  enjoyment,  and  a  great  rest,  to  our  often  over- 
worked dressmakers  and  milliners  in  the  height  of  the  season. 

In  most  clubs  it  has  not  been  found  easy  to  amalgamate 
the  great  variety  of  classes  into  which  working  people  are 
divided  ;  and  therefore  different  organizations  have  been 
formed  to  reach  the  dressmaker,  the  shop-assistant,  and  the 
factory  hand.  But  the  difficulty  can  be  surmounted.  In  the 
Soho  Club,  which  numbers  about  two  hundred  members, 
their  occupations  are  extremely  varied.  The  two  exhibits 
sent  to  Chicago  will  show  that  side  by  side  are  sitting  in 
the  art  needlework  class,  the  factory  hand  and  the  clerk 
who,  with  the  education  and  birth  of  a  lady,  has,  through 
adverse  circumstances,  been  glad  to  make  her  home  amongst 
working  girls.  No  difficulty  has  ever  arisen  on  this  score 
in  the  Soho  Club.  There  has  been  a  friendliness  of  feeling, 
a  linking  together  by  the  love  of  the  club,  which  have 
brought  the  members  into  cordial  relations  both  in  class- 
work  and  in  their  recreation. 

The  finance  of  our  different  clubs  is  often  a  matter  of 
difficulty,  for  none  of  the  clubs  can  be  called  self-supporting. 
In  some  clubs  the  members  pay  no  fees  whatever ;  some  pay 
a  penny  a  week  ;  and  others  two  shillings  a  quarter,  with 
a  shilling  entrance  fee.  Rents  are  very  high  in  London ; 
and  the  number  of  members  is  never  sufficient  to  meet  the 
various  expenses  of  rent,  light,  heating,  and  superintendence. 
We  never  aim  at  having  very  large  clubs  ;  for  in  Polytechnics, 
where  six  or  seven  hundred  young  women  and  girls  are  con- 
gregated together,  a  great  deal  of  that  personal  influence 
which  arises  from  the  acquaintance  of  ladies  w  ith  individua 

54  Woman  s  Mission. 

girls  must  be  lost.  We  are  willing  that  girls  should  pass  from 
the  clubs  to  the  Polytechnics,  where  they  would  get  a  higher 
education  ;  but  we  do  not  find  them  willing  to  change  when 
they  become  attached  to  their  club,  however  great  may  be 
the  advantages  offered  to  them  in  another  institution. 

We  have  said  that  many  thousands  of  girls  belong  to 
these  various  clubs,  and  we  may  add  that  many  hundreds 
of  ladies  are  engaged  in  carrying  them  on.  Like  the 
members  of  the  clubs,  the  ladies  are  from  all  classes  of 
society — from  those  who  have  to  earn  their  daily  bread  to 
those  in  the  highest  ranks  of  life.  All  are  equally  beloved 
by  the  girls,  if  they  have  in  themselves  that  sympathy  and 
heartiness  which  attracts  one  person  to  another.  There  is 
not  much  difficulty  now  in  getting  help  for  these  clubs,  for 
most  girls  in  England,  when  they  begin  to  take  a  serious 
view  of  life,  consider  that  they  have  some  duty  to  perform 
to  others  who  are  less  fortunately  placed.  This  feeling 
is  encouraged  in  club  members  by  getting  them  to  take 
an  interest  in  those  who  are  poorer  than  themselves.  In 
many  clubs  one  evening  in  the  week  is  set  apart  for  working 
for  some  philanthropic  object — for  an  orphanage,  for  mission 
work,  and  so  forth. 

In  some  clubs  religious  influences  are  brought  more 
strongly  to  bear  upon  members  than  in  others.  The  evenings 
begin  and  end  with  prayer,  and  there  are  Bible  classes  and 
special  religious  teaching.  In  other  clubs  the  religious 
teaching  has  to  be  less  doctrinal  and  more  indirect ;  the 
members  of  them  including  Roman  Catholics,  Nonconformists, 
Church  of  England  girls,  and  sometimes  Jewesses ;  but  the 
religion  which  underlies  the  life  of  many  of  the  workers  in 
the  clubs  is  appreciated  by  the  members,  becomes  part  of 
their  lives,  and  helps  them  to  be  an  example  to  others.  Some 
of  the  Soho  girls  helped  to  start  a  club  in  Spitalfields  for  the 
very  lowest  class — girls  whose  homes  are  in  the  lodging- 
houses  of  Whitechapel.  Others  have  visited  the  poor  and 
worked  for  them  ;  and  in  one  case  we  know  of,  some  young 
women  who  took  out  the  poorer  girls  on  a  Sunday,  went  in 
their  everyday  clothes,  so  as  not  to  make  too  great  a  contrast 
between  their  dress  and  the  dress  of  those  they  were  looking 

Clubs  for  Working  Girls. .  55 

The  clubs  are  not  only  of  educational  advantage  in 
cultivating  the  intellects  of  the  girls,  and  in  giving  them 
technical  training,  but  we  find  great  improvement  in  their 
manners,  in  the  higher  aims  their  lives  are  directed  to,  and 
in  the  contentment  they  acquire. 

In  a  great  many  clubs  a  Snowdrop  Band  has  been  started 
by  way  of  bringing  before  its  members  the  beauty  of  purity 
of  life,  of  which  the  snowdrop  is  an  emblem.  In  one  case,  in 
a  Manchester  club,  the  girls  in  the  Snowdrop  Band  promised 
never  to  attend  the  dramatic  performances  held  in  the  tents 
and  booths  about  the  town,  which  were  generally  most 
prejudicial  to  morals.  These  Snowdrop  Bands  are  mostly 
formed  amongst  the  lower  classes  of  girls.  In  the  better  and 
longer  established  clubs  the  morality  of  the  members  is  such 
that  those  who  know  their  lives,  and  the  dangers  that  beset 
young  women  of  their  class  in  crowded  towns,  can  but 
admire  and  respect  it. 

Work  amongst  girls  who  are  living  on  their  daily  wage 
has  been  growing  rapidly,  and  we  expect  another  ten  years 
will  see  it  established  as  a  necessary  obligation  that  every 
large  town  and  district,  if  not  every  parish,  shall  have  its 
club  for  girls  as  well  as  institutions  for  boys  and  men. 

56  Woman's  Mission. 


THE  question  of  how  to  manage  successfully  a  Young  Men's 
Club  is  perhaps  one  of  the  most  difficult  that  presents  itself 
to  philanthropic  workers.  No  one  living  in  a  town,  be  it 
great  or  small,  can  be  blind  to  the  great  need  and  enormous 
importance  of  these  institutions,  and  yet  how  seldom  do  we 
find  one  that  really  answers,  and  makes  its  influence  a  living 
power.  In  many  cases  the  club  fails  for  lack  of  funds,  or  of 
suitable  workers ;  in  other  cases  it  degenerates  into  a  clique, 
or  boys  of  fifteen  and  sixteen  are  admitted,  and  drive  out  the 
older  members  ;  but,  generally  speaking,  I  believe  the  reason 
of  failure  is  that  we  have  not  taken  pains  to  grasp  the  real 
needs  of  our  young  working  men.  We  have  too  often  thought 
it  enough  to  provide  them  with  a  room,  games  and  books, 
and  then  have  been  surprised  to  find  that  when  the  first 
novelty  had  worn  off  they  rather  slipped  through  our  fingers 
and  drifted  away.  Some  years'  experience  has  convinced  me 
that  a  club,  which  would  really  fulfil  its  mission,  must  be  to 
our  young  working  men,  what  a  public  school  or  college  is 
to  boys  of  another  class,  something  which  inspires  them  with 
pride  and  affection,  which  teaches  them  to  sink  the  individual 
in  the  community,  and  gives  them  an  esprit  de  corps,  that 
foundation  of  so  many  manly  and  gentlemanly  qualities. 

*  Miss  Florence  Nightingale,  in  "forwarding  me  this  paper,  which  I  asked  her 
kindly  to  obtain,  writes:  "Miss  Brooke-Hunt  has  been  singularly  successful  in 
her  most  difficult  work.  By  her  own  personal  influence  (she  is  only  twenty-three 
now)  she  has  for  several  years  kept  these  young  men  together  and  out  of  mischief 
till  far  in  their  twenties,  and  often  after  they  have  married,  bringing  back  the 
black  sheep  even  when  they  have  been  expelled  from  her  club  by  their  own 
fellows,  whom  she  wisely  institutes  as  officers." — BURDETT-COUTTS. 

Clubs  for  Young  Men.  57 

Think  of  the  lot  of  a  young  working  man  !  Fancy  a  boy  of 
twenty,  with  high  spirits  and  love  of  fun,  going  through  the 
dull  routine  of  ten  hours'  work  a  day.  He  comes  home  at 
six,  "  cleans,"  and  has  his  tea  ;  but  his  presence  is  not  wanted 
in  the  house ;  the  children  have  to  be  put  to  bed,  mother 
wants  to  tidy  up,  and  father  likes  his  pipe  in  peace,  so  off  he 
goes  "  up  street."  We  know  what  that  means  ;  people  soon 
get  tired  of  walking  up  and  down  the  street,  and  can  we  be 
surprised  that  when  it  is  wet  or  cold,  for  instance,  the  boys 
throng  into  the  brightly-lighted  public-houses,  or  into  the 
music  halls,  with  their  endless  variety  of  attractions  ?  Youth 
craves  for  some  sort  of  excitement,  and  takes  whatever  it  can 
get,  regardless  of  the  consequences.  And  thus  young  men  slip 
into  loose  habits  and  bad  ways,  and  no  one  lays  a  restraining 
hand  on  their  shoulder ;  for  it  is  a  sad  fact,  that,  even  among 
the  most  respectable  working  people,  the  parents  seem  unable 
or  unwilling  to  control  the  boys.  "If  we  said  anything  to 
Bill,  Miss,  he'd  take  and  go  into  lodgings,  and  we  can't  afford 
to  lose  his  money,"  is  a  remark  I  often  hear.  Therefore 
"Bill"  is  left  to  himself,  and  the  parents  think  themselves 
lucky,  if  after  a  few  years  he  ends  in  nothing  worse  than 
a  miserable  and  imprudent  marriage.  In  the  great  majority 
of  cases  "  Bill "  does  not  want  to  go  to  the  bad,  and  would 
not  if  some  one  could  step  in  and  put  a  higher  interest  and 
a  nobler  object  in  his  way.  To  do  this  is  the  true  mission 
of  a  Young  Men's  Club.  It  is  to  supply  some  hints  as  to  how 
women  can  help  in  this  work  that  I  have  been  asked  to  write 
this  paper,  and  as  facts  are  more  useful  than  theories,  I 
purpose  giving  an  account  of  an  institution  with  which  I 
have  been  connected  for  some  years. 

I  began  in  a  very  small  way,  with  about  half  a  dozen 
young  men,  varying  in  age  from  eighteen  to  twenty-four,  who 
used  to  come  to  our  house  once  a  week  for  a  night  school. 
As  winter  approached  we  decided  to  start  a  football  club  in 
connection  with  the  class,  and  this  increased  our  members  to 
twenty.  We  then  gave  ourselves  the  name  of  "  The  Gordon 
Club,"  as  the  fame  of  the  hero  of  Khartoum  was  fresh  in  all 
our  memories.  For  club  colours  we  adopted  the  military 
scarlet  mixed  with  black;  and  our  members'  cards  were 
headed  with  the  motto,  "  Look  up,  lift  up."  When  the 

5  8  Woman  s  Mission. 

football   season   came  to   an  end,  we  took  up  cricket  with 
great  enthusiasm. 

About  this  time  I  proposed  starting  a  Bible  class  on 
Sunday  afternoons,  open  to  all  members,  though  compulsory 
for  none.  The  project  was  not  very  warmly  taken  up,  but  a 
few  boys  promised  to  attend  regularly,  and  these  brought  so 
much  influence  to  bear  on  the  others,  that  the  class  gradually 
grew  in  size  and  importance,  till  at  the  present  time  it  holds 
the  most  prominent  position  in  the  club,  and  in  the  hearts 
also  of  all  the  members,  for  when  "  old  boys  "  come  from  a 
distance,  they  always  try  to  arrange  that  their  holiday  shall 
embrace  a  Sunday,  "  So  that  we  can  have  one  afternoon  in 
the  old  way,  Miss."  I  cannot  lay  too  much  stress  on  the 
fact  that  attendance  at  the  Bible  class  is  quite  voluntary, 
and  that  the  members  get  no  special  advantages  in  the  shape 
of  marks,  prizes,  or  treats.  Every  member  in  the  club  is 
treated  alike,  whether  he  attend  class  regularly  or  not.  At 
the  same  time,  we  bring  individual  influence  to  bear  on  each 
member,  to  induce  him  to  come  for  his  own  sake,  because  it 
will  help  him  in  his  struggle  to  make  his  life  higher  and 
nobler.  This  is  the  feeling  among  the  class.  "  It  keeps  me 
straight,"  a  young  fellow,  who  is  set  in  the  midst  of  many 
and  great  dangers,  told  me  recently ;  "  I  couldn't  come  down 
on  a  Sunday  and  sit  in  the  midst  of  you  all,  if  I  wasn't 
trying  to  go  right."  The  plan  of  our  class  is  as  follows  : — 
Members  drop  in  between  3  and  3.15,  which  time  we  spend 
in  general  conversation.  I  read  them  a  story  from  3. 1 5  to 
3.30  ;  not  weak  trash,  but  something  really  good,  or  some- 
times even  a  novel  with  a  strong  pure  tone.  At  3.30  I  say 
the  Collect,  and  give  out  the  part  of  the  Bible  from  which 
the  lesson  is  taken,  the  verses  being  read  together  by  the 
whole  class.  I  feel  the  lesson  is  of  the  greatest  importance, 
as  with  many  of  the  boys  it  is  the  only  time  they  are  brought 
face  to  face  with  the  great  realities  of  life.  Young  working 
men  have  terrible  temptations,  and  neither  doctrines  nor 
platitudes  will  send  them  out  armed  for  the  fight.  The 
Bible  lesson,  therefore,  if  it  is  to  help  them,  must  touch  their 
everyday  working  life.  Our  Bible  lesson  usually  lasts  till 
nearly  4.30,  and  we  conclude  the  class  with  a  Collect  and  one 
or  two  hymns. 

Clubs  for   Young  Men.  59 

In  giving  this  description  of  the  Bible  class,  as  it  is  now, 
I  have  rather  diverged  from  the  history  of  the  club.  I  must 
therefore  return  to  the  second  winter  of  our  existence,  which 
found  us  hard  at  work  with  a  singing  class  and  a  debating 
society.  The  latter  is  certainly  an  educational  power,  but 
the  management  requires  some  tact,  or  ill  feeling  would  be 
quickly  roused,and  debates  would  be  finished  out  "with  fists" 
a  few  days  later.  We  excluded  politics,  and  discussed  such 
subjects  as  "  Gambling,"  "  Military  Conscription,"  "  The  In- 
fluence of  Penny  Dreadfuls,"  and  so  on.  Our  football  club, 
too,  soon  earned  a  great  reputation — thanks  partly  to  our 
captain,  a  young  working  man  who  possessed  great  control 
over  his  team,  and  to  whose  tact  and  loyalty  I  owe  a 
great  deal. 

For  the  next  year  or  two  our  club  grew  steadily.  To  the 
athletic  branch  we  added  a  rowing  club  ;  and  as  our  only 
meeting-place  was,  and  is  still,  my  own  sitting-room,  I 
found  it  necessary  to  have  some  sort  of  class  every  night,  so 
that  each  boy  might  have  a  chance.  There  may  be  advan- 
tages in  a  big  hall  or  club-room  where  large  numbers  can 
assemble,  but  I  will  always  look  on  the  small  classes  which 
the  size  of  our  room  necessitated  as  the  very  foundation  of 
the  club's  success.  A  small  class  can  be  made  friendly  and 
conversational  ;  each  individual  boy  can  be  known,  his  in- 
terest can  be  roused,  and  a  personal  friendship  can  be  formed 
with  him  ;  his  shyness  wears  off,  and  if  he  get  into  trouble  or 
difficulty  he  will  naturally  come  and  talk  the  matter  over ; 
whereas  in  a  big  class  discipline  and  formality  become  more 
necessary,  and  there  is  a  wider  gulf  between  teacher  and 
pupil.  I  feel  sure  that  no  club  can  really  succeed  unless 
there  is  the  tie  of  personal  affection  between  the  members 
and  whoever  is  responsible  for  them,  for  it  is  this  tie  alone 
that  can  give  to  a  club  that  feeling  of  loyalty,  esprit  de  corps, 
and  true  co-operation,  which  practically  means  life  in  a 
corporate  body.  The  power  of  this  personal  tie  was  very 
strongly  illustrated  the  following  year,  when  I  was  laid  aside 
for  ten  months  by  a  severe  illness,  and  unable  to  do  anything 
for  the  club,  except  see  the  boys  separately  now  and  then. 
Although  they  refused  to  have  a  substitute,  and  all  the 
classes  were  therefore  stopped,  they  kept  the  club  together 

60  Woman's  Mission. 

among  themselves,  and  when  I  was  once  more  able  to  be 
among  them,  we  took  up  the  threads  exactly  where  we  had 
left  off.  Only  those  long  months  of  illness  did  make  a 
difference  ;  for,  as  Kingsley  truly  says,  "  There  is  a  latent 
chivalry,  doubt  it  not,  in  the  heart  of  each  untutored  being, 
only  waiting  for  something  to  develop  it  into  fulness."  I 
wish  I  could  find  words  to  describe  the  gentleness  and 
tenderness,  the  thought  and  consideration,  "the  reverence  of 
strength  for  weakness,"  shown  by  those  big,  manly  fellows. 
It  quite  altered  the  state  of  things  in  the  club.  Up  till  then 
I  had  taken  care  of  the  boys ;  from  henceforth  they  have 
taken  entire  charge  of  each  other,  and  of  me !  This  has 
resulted  in  an  organization  so  useful  and  so  effective  that  I 
will  describe  it  in  detail. 

Six  of  the  members  who  had  been  in  the  club  for  some 
years  were  promoted  to  the  dignity  of  "officers,"  and  were 
put  in  charge  of  a  "company,"  varying  in  number  from  ten 
to  fourteen.  Each  officer  has  an  order  book,  which  is  brought 
to  me  every  Saturday  night,  and  returned  to  him  on  Sunday, 
filled  up  with  all  the  notices  for  the  week,  and  it  is  his  duty 
to  see  that  these  are  made  known  to  every  man  in  his  com- 
pany. He  has  also  to  report  illness,  collect  subscriptions, 
ascertain  the  wishes  of  his  company  on  matters  concerning 
the  club,  and,  in  the  words  of  his  commission,  "by  his 
example  and  influence  maintain  a  high  standard  and  good 
name  among  those  for  whom  he  is  responsible."  The  officers 
remain  for  a  few  minutes  each  Sunday,  to  talk  over  club 
affairs,  and  we  have  meetings  also  at  frequent  intervals,  as 
there  is  always  much  important  business  to  settle.  The 
admission  of  new  members  is  left  entirely  in  their  hands, 
as  a  candidate  has  to  be  proposed  and  seconded  by  an 
officer,  and  two  adverse  votes,  which  are  not  given  by  ballot, 
blackball  him.  I  find  the  officers  very  fair  in  this  respect, 
their  great  idea  being  to  exclude  from  the  club  any  one  who 
does  not  mean  to  put  his  whole  interest  into  it.  We  certainly 
are  jealous;  it  has  to  be  "all  in  all,  or  not  at  all"  with 
members  of  our  club.  "  We'll  have  no  half  and  halfers,  Miss," 
they  say.  At  the  same  time  they  equally  object  to  "toffs," 
that  is  to  say,  young  men  who  give  themselves  airs,  dress  up 
on  Sunday,  and  are  too  grand  to  notice  a  mate  in  the  streets. 

Clubs  for  Young  Men.  6 1 

We  resolutely  keep  the  club  for  bond  fide  young  working 
men,  who  want  to  look  after  themselves,  and  spend  their 
spare  time  in  something  better  than  loafing.  In  the  officers' 
hands  is  also  the  power  of  punishing,  suspending,  or  ex- 
pelling a  member,  though  I  am  thankful  to  say  it  is  a  power 
they  seldom  need  to  exercise.  Of  course,  where  a  boy's 
influence  is  really  bad,  he  must  go  for  the  sake  of  the  others, 
and  in  the  one  or  two  instances  where  this  has  been  neces- 
sary, I  have  tried  to  get  the  expelled  members  to  make  a 
fresh  start  in  a  fresh  place.  For  such  as  these  I  believe  the 
army  is  salvation,  with  its  rigorous  discipline,  and  the  advan- 
tages it  offers  to  young  men  who  keep  steady. 

It  sometimes  answers  well  to  suspend  a  boy  for  a  short 
time,  and  then  put  him  on  probation,  but  it  must  be  done 
carefully,  and  so  as  not  to  rob  him  of  his  self-respect,  or 
make  him  defiant.  I  always  urge  that — 

"Earthly  power  is  likest  God's 
When  mercy  seasons  justice," 

and  the  officers  generally  are  willing  to  make  allowances  and 
forgive.  Whatever  their  verdict  may  be,  I  always  convey  it 
to  the  boy  in  question,  and  such  occasions  give  one  a  splendid 
opportunity  of  lending  a  helping  hand. 

Such  is  the  work  of  the  officers,  though  I  feel  that  I  have 
not  done  justice  to  the  tact  and  good  feeling  which  they 
show,  to  the  real  interest  they  take  in  their  "companies," 
and  to  the  manner  in  which  they  realize  their  responsibilities. 
The  little  touch  of  rivalry  between  the  companies  is  very 
healthy  ;  it  prevents  interest  from  flagging,  develops  a  strong 
feeling  of  esprit  de  corps,  and  makes  the  officers  feel  that  the 
reputation  of  the  club  lies  in  their  hands. 

A  general  meeting  is  held  every  year,  at  which  the  officers 
are  elected  formally,  though  the  real  choice  of  them  lies  in 
my  hands.  As  the  club  is  non-parochial  and  quite  private, 
we  have  no  public  subscriptions  ;  every  member  pays  three 
shillings  a  year,  and  this  goes  towards  the  expenses  of  the 
cricket  and  football  field.  We  have  a  Christy  Minstrel 
troupe,  which  is  a  great  amusement  all  through  the  winter, 
and  it  is  also  very  profitable,  as  the  members  give  concerts  in 
the  town  and  neighbouring  villages,  and  we  generally  manage 
to  clear  a  few  pounds  for  club  expenses.  The  wood-carving 

62  Woman  s  Mission. 

bids  fair  to  become  a  great  financial  success.  We  do  chip 
carving,  which  has  the  advantage  of  being  easy,  interesting, 
and  cheap,  and  since  the  club  took  first  prize  at  a  large  Arts 
and  Crafts  Exhibition  we  have  had  plenty  of  orders  for  work. 
Two  of  our  officers,  who  are  clever  carvers,  have  undertaken 
to  teach  other  classes ;  one  goes  every  week  to  a  village  near, 
and  the  other  purposes  trying  what  he  can  do  with  a  gang  of 
boys  who  live  in  the  worst  part  of  the  town.  This  may  be 
the  beginning  of  a  missionary  work,  and  of  a  new  phase  in 
the  history  of  the  club.  It  speaks  well  for  the  boys  that 
though  they  spend  many  of  their  spare  hours  in  carving, 
they  will  not  take  any  of  the  money,  but  hand  all  proceeds 
over  to  the  club  fund  without  reserve.  This  club  fund,  as 
well  as  a  smaller  fund  of  pennies  collected  on  Sunday,  they 
leave  to  me  to  spend  exactly  as  I  like,  and  are  quite  indignant 
if  I  want  to  show  them  a  balance-sheet  or  account-book.  As 
we  have  no  rent  to  pay  for  a  room,  and  as  there  are  no 
expenses  connected  with  refreshments  or  any  such  extras, 
the  club  does  not  cost  very  much,  and  I  think  from  .£30  to 
.£40  covers  everything,  and  includes  such  items  as  sending 
delicate  boys  to  convalescent  homes,  or  helping  those  who 
may  be  out  of  work  over  a  bad  time.  We  keep  up  a  library, 
and  generally  manage  to  have  a  day's  outing  in  the  summer. 
The  athletic  clubs  involve  a  good  deal  of  trouble  and 
expense,  but  in  their  way  they  are  a  most  important  part 
of  the  work.  Young  men  must  have  some  outlet  for  their 
spirits,  and  what  is  safer  than  cricket,  football,  or  a  row  on 
the  river?  I  am  thankful  now  that  as  a  child  I  was  well 
drilled  in  every  form  of  sport  in  which  boys  delight.  Then 
I  was  apt  to  grumble  at  the  tyranny  of  being  made  to  field, 
bowl,  or  keep  wicket  through  a  hot  afternoon,  while  my 
brother  and  his  friends  had  their  innings,  or  at  having  to 
stand  shivering  near  the  goal  while  they  had  all  the  excite- 
ment of  working  the  football  up  and  down  the  field  ;  but 
now  I  feel  grateful  to  my  oppressors!  Being  able  to  score 
for  the  boys  at  cricket,  and  keep  the  bowling  analysis  cor- 
rectly, to  criticize  the  "passing,"  "wheeling,"  or  "tackling" 
after  a  football  match,  and  to  find  fault  with  the  "  feathering  " 
and  "  form  "  of  the  crew, — this  has  been  one  of  the  strongest 
links  between  us,  while  I  feel  sure  that  the  influence  of  a 

Clubs  for  Young  Men.  63 

lady  on  their  games  makes  them  play  in  as  gentlemanly  and 
honourable  a  manner  as  any  Eton  or  Harrow  team.  Recrea- 
tion is  a  most  important  factor  in  the  lives  of  our  young 
men,  and,  therefore,  though  we  must  never  raise  it  above  its 
true  value,  we  must,  as  Dean  Church  has  argued,  "  carry  into 
their  hard  lives  something  of  what  gladdens  ours,  something 
of  that  keen  and  high  enjoyment,  that  discipline,  refinement, 
and  elevation  of  spirit,  which  is  given  to  many  of  us  in  such 
overflowing  measure." 

This  then  is  a  very  brief  account  of  what  can  be  done 
with  a  number  of  young  men,  without  great  expense,  and 
with  no  club  house  except  a  lady's  sitting-room.  I  feel  that 
it  is  essentially  a  lady's  work.  Only  a  woman  can  have  the 
softening  and  refining  influence  on  boys  who  have  to  struggle 
through  the  battle  of  life  with  terrible  odds  against  them  ; 
only  a  woman's  voice  can  call  out  their  chivalry ;  only  a 
woman's  tact  can  restrain  the  passionate  nature,  encourage 
the  wavering,  guide  the  enthusiastic,  raise  the  fallen  ;  only 
a  woman  can  give  them  the  strong,  full  sympathy  for  which 
human  nature  instinctively  yearns.  I  can  hardly  sum  up 
the  qualifications  for  undertaking  such  work,  for  I  believe  it 
lies  within  the  power  of  any  woman  who  longs  "  to  find  her 
far  heaven  in  near  humanity,"  who  feels  that  the  "way  to 
God  is  by  the  road  of  man  ; "  but  to  any  who  are  about  to 
undertake  anything  similar,  I  may  offer  a  few  words  of  advice. 
First,  put  your  whole  heart  into  your  work.  No  club  or  class 
can  answer  which  is  just  taken  up  as  a  fad  and  then  dropped. 
It  involves  real  work ;  the  sympathy  and  interest  must  not 
flag.  Your  earnestness  will  be  reflected  on  the  boys  ;  if  they 
see  your  whole  time  and  trouble  is  given  up  to  them,  they 
will  not  grudge  you  theirs  in  return  ;  in  fact,  they  will  un- 
consciously catch  something  of  your  enthusiasm,  and,  as  we 
know,  enthusiasm  is  one  of  the  strongest  motive  powers. 
Secondly,  I  urge,  trust  the  boys.  It  is  very  seldom  you  will 
find  such  trust  misplaced.  Let  your  boys  see  you  expect 
something  good  of  them,  and  they  will  not  fail  you  ;  show 
them  that  you  believe  them  capable  of  heroism,  and  it  will 
put  them  on  their  mettle.  Try  to  know  each  boy  individually, 
and  so  give  each  one  exactly  the  help  he  wants.  One  cannot 
take  too  much  trouble  to  grasp  each  boy's  separate  character : 

64  Woman's  Mission. 

boys  cannot  be  managed  or  influenced  in  a  lump,  any  more 
than  a  number  of  people  with  different  complaints  can  be 
cured  by  the  same  medicine.  You  cannot  know  a  boy  by 
just  seeing  him  in  class ;  you  must  know  his  home,  his  cir- 
cumstances, his  work,  his  friends,  and  his  hobby  ;  you  must 
see  how  he  faces  trouble,  how  he  bears  success,  what  his 
influence  is,  or  where  is  the  point  through  which  he  can  best 
he  influenced,  for  only  thus  can  you  really  help  him.  And 
above  all,  if  the  boys  leave  the  town,  do  not  lose  sight  ot 
them.  Lastly,  do  not  get  discouraged  when  things  seem  to 
go  badly,  as  they  often  do.  It  is  a  great  mistake  to  worry 
too  much  over  trifles,  or  even  over  what  seem  at  the  time 
much  more  than  trifles.  It  is  wonderful  to  see  how  things 
are  worked  out — 

"  If  only  we  bate  not  a  jot  of  heart  or  hope, 
But  steer  right  onward  ! " 

My  first  experience  of  a  boys'  class  was  not  a  pleasant 
one,  for  on  my  going  into  a  schoolroom  in  the  worst  part 
of  the  town,  to  see  if  I  could  do  anything  with  a  gang  who 
were  the  terror  of  the  place,  they  put  out  all  the  lights, 
and  began  singing,  "  Where  is  the  ghost  of  John  James 
Christopher  Benjamin  Binns?"  However,  they  were  really 
sorry  afterwards,  were  persuaded  to  light  the  gas,  and 
informed  me,  "They  wouldn't  have  done  it  if  they  had 
known  I  was  such  a  young  lady,  and  that  if  I'd  stick  to 
them,  they  would  behave  like  regular  gentlemen  " — a  promise 
they  faithfully  kept.  I  only  say  this  to  show  that  no  state  of 
things  is  really  hopeless.  As  we  gain  experience  we  learn 
to  look  beyond  the  present,  to  realize  that  the  best  results 
are  often  the  most  gradual,  and  above  all  that  "  we  do  not 
move  by  ourselves,  but  are  pushed  by  an  Unseen  Hand  " — 
that  God  leads  men  through  strange  ways  and  circumstances 
up  to  Himself. 



MAY  I  be  allowed  to  express  the  value  and  importance  we 
attach  to  this  great  opportunity  of  bringing  forward  and 
pleading  for  the  work  of  the  Mothers'  Union  before  the 
Chicago  Congress  ?  At  the  outset  I  will  try  to  explain  the 
reasons  that  led  us  to  start  such  an  organization. 

We  live  in  a  Christian  country,  we  call  ourselves  Christians, 
and  yet  we  are  standing  face  to  face  with  a  state  of  rebellion 
and  disobedience  to  our  Master's  commands,  which  baffles 
and  confounds  us.  The  rivers  of  immorality,  intemperance, 
irreligion,  and  infidelity,  are  streaming  over  Christian  lands, 
destroying  thousands  and  thousands  of  fair  young,  lives, 
which,  but  for  them,  might  be  noble  and  beautiful.  Immo- 
rality has  increased  tenfold  in  late  years.  Intemperance, 
which  follows  the  other  sin  like  a  shadow,  is  troubling  us  on 
all  sides,  and  bringing  ruin  into  hearts  and  lives  in  spite  of  the 
vigorous  efforts  made  to  check  it.  Irreligion  is  gradually 
permeating  the  masses,  and  the  religious  observance  of 
Sunday  is  becoming  obliterated.  It  is  the  fashion  of  the  day 
to  sneer  in  a  lofty  manner  at  the  old  ways,  and  to  cry  up 
two  panaceas  for  all  the  ills  of  life — secular  culture,  and  recrea- 
tion— both  most  excellent  as  far  as  they  go,  but  they  will 
never  touch  the  inner  life  which  Christ  searches  and  touches. 

In  spite  of  all  these  evils,  there  never  was  a  time  when 
such  religious  enthusiasm  prevailed,  such  zealous  fighting  for 
God  and  the  right.  Church  people  and  other  religionists  are 
working  hard.  Men  and  women  of  all  shades  of  opinion  are 
spending  their  lives  in  doing  good.  Schools,  societies,  guilds, 
institutions  abound.  But  still  the  tide  of  sin  and  misery  rolls 


66  Womaris  Mission. 

on.  Where  is  the  remedy  ?  How  can  we  cut  at  the  root  of 
these  Upas  trees  of  evil  ?  We  answer  confidently,  through 
the  homes,  the  parents,  and,  above  all,  the  mothers. 

There  has  been  a  tendency  in  all  reformatory  efforts  to 
ignore  the  parents  and  the  divine  institution  of  home  life. 
Most  of  the  remedial  efforts  take  children  away  from  home 
and  parents.  Educationalists  and  philanthropists  have  prac- 
tically been  saying  to  the  poorer  parents,  "  These  are  your 
children,  it  is  true,  but  you  are  too  ignorant,  or  too  busy,  or 
too  wicked,  to  train  them  yourselves.  We  will  do  it  for  you  ; " 
and  in  this  way  God's  method  of  training  His  human  crea- 
tures has  been  interfered  with.  Children  train  parents  as 
much  as  parents  train  children.  It  is  a  double  influence  ; 
one  acts  on  the  other. 

It  has  come  to  pass  that  the  poorer  parents  have  in  many 
cases  lost  all  sense  of  responsibility,  and  shifted  their  duties 
on  to  the  ministers  of  religion,  schoolmasters,  philanthropic 
people,  and  institutions.    They  say,  "  If  we  feed  and  clothe  our 
children,  and  give  them  a  home  to  live  in,  it  is  all  that  can 
be  expected  of  us."     Rich  parents  are  also  too  often  acting 
in   exactly  the   same    manner.     They  are   busy  with   their 
interests  and  amusements,  and  the  exigencies  of  society,  and 
hand  over  to  nurses  and  governesses,  or  to  tutors  and  schools, 
the  entire   moral    and   religious   training  of  their   children. 
There  is  a  memorable  saying  of  Mirabeau — "  The  education 
of  a  child  should  begin  twenty-five  years  before  his  birth,  in 
the  education  of  the  parents."     We  are  not  only  confronted 
by  neglect  and  irresponsibility  in  parents,  but  by  the  strange 
indifference  with  which  little  children  are  committed  to  the 
care  and  training,  and  even  religious  teaching,  of  incompetent 
nurses  and  governesses.     No  wonder  that   astonishment  is 
expressed  so  often  at  the  ignorance  of  the  Bible  and  the 
truths  of  Christian  faith  in  boys  and  girls  of  the  upper  classes, 
while  children  of  poor  parents  are  not  unfrequently  turned 
out  of  Board  schools  with  little  or  no  definite  knowledge  of 
God's  laws,  or  how  to  keep  them.     The  result  of  this  neglect 
in  all  classes  is  disastrous.     Education — the  forming  of  habits 
of  mind  and  conduct — which  is  the  work  of  the  home,  is  con- 
fused with  instruction,  or  storing  the  mind  with  facts  ;  head 
teaching  with  heart  teaching.     It  is  a  cruel  wrong  to  equip 

The  Responsibilities  of  Mothers.  67 

a  child  with  intellectual  culture,  and  leave  him  ignorant  of 
the  means  of  self-conquest. 

We  have  to  lay  solemnly  to  heart  that  the  work  of 
greatest  importance  to  society  is  the  training  of  children  in 
Christian  principles,  and  that  the  character  of  a  child  is  formed 
during  the  first  ten  years  of  life  in  great  measure  by  the 
influence  of  the  home,  and,  above  all,  by  the  mother.  It  is 
a  divine  thing,  this  amazing  power  of  a  mother  over  her 
children.  She  stamps  herself  on  them  at  an  age  when  their 
minds  are  daily  receiving  indelible  impressions,  when  the 
imitative  faculty  is  at  its  highest  development.  "  What  is 
learnt  in  the  cradle  is  carried  to  the  grave."  This  is  proved 
by  history,  biography,  and  our  own  universal  observation. 
"  Most  good  men  have  had  good  mothers."  We  read  in 
Ezekiel  xvi.,  "  As  is  the  mother,  so  is  her  daughter."  Napo- 
leon said  one  day  to  Madame  de  Campan,  "  The  old  systems 
of  education  are  worth  nothing ;  what  is  wanting  in  order 
that  the  youth  of  France  be  well  educated  ?  "  "  Mothers," 
replied  Madame  de  Campan.  The  reply  struck  the  Emperor, 
and  he  said,  "  Be  it  your  care  to  train  up  mothers  who  shall 
know  how  to  educate  their  children."  This  remark  touches 
the  very  object  of  the  Mothers'  Union.  It  contains  the 
secret  of  a  mighty  reformation. 

If  the  supply  of  ignoble  and  ruined  lives  is  to  be  stopped, 
it  must  be  done  by  the  careful  training  of  children  from  the 
cradle.  The  germs  of  the  passions  they  will  have  to  contend 
with  are  in  them  already.  Habits  of  obedience  and  self- 
control,  therefore,  must  be  formed  gently  and  lovingly  in 
early  life.  It  has  been  wisely  said,  "  If  you  are  not  master 
of  a  child  by  the  time  he  is  three  years  old,  he  will  be  your 
master."  Young  children  must  not  be  treated  merely  as 
pets,  or  else  as  troublesome  encumbrances.  The  soul  of  a 
child  must  be  trained  to  govern  the  body.  "  Take  heed  lest 
ye  despise  one  of  these  little  ones."  Chivalry  is  innate  in 
a  boy,  as  modesty  is  in  a  girl.  These  instincts  must  be 
fostered  and  cultivated.  The  boy's  first  ideal  woman  is  his 
mother,  and,  unless  she  fail  to  win  his  love  and  respect,  he  has 
a  chivalrous  devotion  to  her  which  will  colour  his  whole  life. 
Do  not  some  of  us  know  the  truth  of  this  from  happy  ex- 
perience ?  If  mothers  will  but  seize  the  power  God  gives 

68  Woman  s  Mission. 

them,  and  guard  the  first  springs  of  thought  ;  if  they  will 
give  their  children  definite  religious  instruction  by  word  and 
example,  and  rule  them  wisely,  lovingly,  methodically,  and 
firmly  in  habits  of  obedience,  self-control,  purity,  and  truth, 
boys  would  less  often  develop  into  uncontrolled,  lawless, 
unchivalrous  men,  and  selfish  husbands ;  and  girls  would  not 
grow  into  frivolous,  vain,  self-asserting,  fast  women.  Homes 
would  be  happier ;  the  world  would  be  raised,  reformed, 

It  was  with  these  thoughts  working  in  our  minds  that  we 
started  the  "Mothers'  Union"  in  the  year  1876  in  the  Win- 
chester Diocese.  The  objects  of  the  society  are — 

1.  To  uphold  the  sanctity  of  marriage  (as  the  foundation 
of  home-life). 

2.  To  awaken  in  mothers  a  sense  of  their  great  responsi- 
bility as  mothers  in  the  training  of  their  boys  and  girls  (the 
future  fathers  and  mothers). 

3.  To  organize  in  every  place  a  band  of  mothers  who  will 
unite  in  prayer,  and  seek  by  their  own  example  to  lead  their 
families  in  purity  and  holiness  of  life. 

The  principles  upon  which  we  build  our  work  are  these : 
That  the  prosperity  of  a  nation  depends  upon  the  family  life 
of  the  homes.  That  family  life  is  the  greatest  institution  in 
the  world  for  the  formation  of  character,  and  that  out  of  it 
the  nation  grows.  That  religion  is  the  indispensable  foun- 
dation of  family  life.  That  parents  are  responsible  for  the 
character  and  morals  of  their  children.  That  character  is 
formed  during  the  first  ten  years  of  life  by  the  example  and 
habits  of  the  home.  That  example  is  stronger  than  precept, 
and  parents,  therefore,  must  be  themselves  what  they  wish 
their  children  to  be.  That  the  history  of  the  world  proves 
the  divine  power  given  by  God  to  parents,  and  to  mothers 
especially,  because  children  are  placed  from  infancy  in  a  more 
intimate  and  closer  relationship  with  the  mother  than  with 
the  father  during  the  time  when  character  is  formed.  That 
the  training  of  children  is  a  profession,  and  must  be  learnt 
like  any  other  profession. 

The  Mothers'  Union  includes  all  classes  of  mothers,  from 
the  highest  to  the  humblest,  whether  educated  or  uneducated, 
rich  or  poor,  inasmuch  as  the  duties  of  mothers  are  the  same 

The  Responsibilities  of  Mothers.  69 

to  a  certain  extent  in  every  rank.  We  feel  strongly  that  if 
mothers  in  the  upper  classes  will  lead  the  way  by  joining 
this  movement,  we  may  be  able  to  win  all  sorts  and  con- 
ditions of  mothers  to  see  their  responsibility.  We  need 
leaders ;  and  women  in  the  highest  ranks  are  taking  their 
places  in  the  van  of  the  society.  Over  three  thousand  of 
these  have  thrown  in  their  lot  with  us  in  the  Winchester 
Diocese,  and  many  have  joined  in  other  dioceses.  We 
believe,  from  our  wonderful  success,  and  from  the  sympathy 
we  have  received,  that  there  are  few  mothers  in  any  position 
of  life  who  are  unwilling  to  join  this  movement.  Union  is 
strength  ;  united  prayer  is  boundless  strength.  The  Mothers' 
Union  is  above  all  things  a  union  for  prayer. 

It  is  the  fashion  of  the  day  to  combine  for  the  carrying 
out  of  any  great  object,  political,  educational,  or  social.  May 
we  not,  as  mothers,  combine  and  unite  together,  for  the  good 
of  our  homes  and  for  the  glory  of  God,  to  try  to  put  a  stop 
to  the  moral  plague  which  abounds,  and  to  undermine  the 
kingdom  of  evil  by  laying,  as  far  as  we  can,  the  foundation 
of  strong  principle  and  good  habits  in  the  hearts  and  lives  of 
our  children  ? 

A  card  of  membership  is  given  to  each  mother  who  joins 
the  society.  On  these  cards  are  printed  the  prayer  to  be  said 
(if  possible)  daily,  and  the  rules  of  the  Mothers'  Union,  which 
are — to  try  to  bring  up  the  children  in  habits  of  obedience, 
truth,  purity,  and  self-control ;  to  watch  over  their  conversa- 
tion, companionship,  and  amusements  ;  to  be  careful  as  to  the 
literature  placed  in  their  hands,  the  books  and  newspapers 
they  read ;  to  inculcate  temperance.  We  have  a  separate 
card  for  mothers  of  the  higher  classes.  It  is  exactly  on  the 
same  lines  as  the  card  for  the  poorer  ones,  but  worded  so  as 
to  meet  their  special  responsibilities,  and  vice  versa.  On  our 
cards  we  place  the  two  Sacraments,  not  as  part  of  the  rules 
(there  is  no  Sacramental  test),  but  as  the  pillars  of  our  work, 
and  we  have  found  them  to  be  so.  The  one,  the  initial 
Sacrament  of  our  faith  ;  the  other,  the  strengthening  ordinance 
of  our  spiritual  life.  They  are  placed  before  the  eyes  of  the 
mothers  to  awaken  attention  and  make  them  realize  the 
sacredness  of  child-life,  the  consecration  of  body  and  soul  in 
Holy  Baptism,  and  the  duty  of  teaching  a  child  that  his  body 

7o  Woman's  Mission. 

is  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Every  member  is  asked 
to  take  in  one  of  the  two  periodicals  of  the  society.  The 
Mothers'  Union  Journal,  which  has  a  sale  of  37,000  copies 
a  quarter,  costs  fourpence  a  year ;  and  Mothers  in  Council, 
edited  by  Miss  Yonge,  which  is  intended  for  the  upper  classes, 
is  issued  at  sixpence  a  quarter. 

The  society  is  worked  by  diocesan  organizing  committees, 
and  a  central  fund  for  the  circulation  of  information  and  the 
printing  of  the  annual  report.  The  payment  of  a  diocesan 
secretary  and  other  working  expenses  are  met  by  the 
subscriptions  of  a  shilling  a  year  from  members  of  the  upper 
classes  and  associates,  and  occasional  donations.  The 
poorer  members  are  not  asked  for  any  subscription. 

The  Mothers'  Union  has  spread  with  great  rapidity ; 
twenty-eight  English  and  three  Welsh  dioceses  are  working 
it  in  one  way  or  other.  In  the  Winchester  Diocese  there 
are  14,554  members  and  associates  of  all  classes.  It  has 
been  planted  in  Scotland,  Ireland,  India,  Gibraltar,  and  in 
Tasmania,  New  Zealand,  and  other  English  colonies. 

We  are  receiving  letters  from  many  parts  of  the  world 
and  from  all  classes,  testifying  to  the  need  of  the  Mothers' 
Union,  the  good  work  being  done,  and  of  lives  and  homes 
made  better  and  happier.  We  should  esteem  it  an  honour 
if  any  of  our  American  sisters  would  write  to  us  and  unite 
with  us  in  this  work.  Their  co-operation  would  be  invaluable 
in  spreading  the  society,  and  we  should  appreciate  their 
sympathy  and  help  most  deeply.  Is  it  too  much  to  hope 
that  some  enthusiasm  fo'r  the  Mothers'  Union  may  be 
aroused,  and  that  it  may  be  recognized  as  one  means  of 
purifying  the  very  source  of  a  nation's  life  ?  God  has 
honoured  mothers  by  entrusting  to  them  the  little  infants 
from  the  moment  of  their  entering  on  immortal  life.  God 
has  given  them  the  first  word  with  the  children.  The  nations 
of  the  future  are  now  lying  in  their  arms,  and  a  wealth  of 
love,  tender  and  self-denying,  but  too  often  unthinking  and 
irresponsible,  is  hovering  over  each  unconscious  infant.  Can 
we  not  lay  hands  on  this  reserve  force  of  love,  and  power, 
and  influence,  and  win  it  for  God  ?  Can  we  not  try  to 
persuade  mothers  of  all  classes  to  join  us  in  this  great  home 
crusade,  and  stir  them  up  to  recognize  the  greatness  of  their 

The  Responsibilities  of  Mothers.  71 

mission,  the  sacredness  of  child-life,  the  force  of  their  own 
example,  the  terrible  consequences  of  failure  in  their  duty,  the 
blessedness  of  success  in  the  pure  and  blameless  lives  of  noble 
sons  and  virtuous  daughters,  and  the  glorious  reunion  before 
the  throne  of  God  ? 

"Behold,  I  and  the  children  whom  the  Lord  hath  given  me." 

7  -  Woman!  s  Mission. 


THE  majority  of  nineteenth-century  Englishwomen  are 
industrious,  resourceful,  unaffected,  sensible,  amusing,  amiable  ; 
they  are  good-looking,  and  charming  companions  ;  but  I  do 
think  that  sometimes,  when  we  are  engrossed  in  our  manifold 
public  and  semi-public  occupations,  which  modern  civilization 
almost  demands,  we  are  too  apt  to  regard  ourselves  as  wholly 
superior  to  the  women  of  other  ages  ;  and  if  not  in  words, 
certainly  in  thought,  look  upon  the  ladies,  say,  of  the  days  of 
chivalry,  as  so  many  puppets  throned  by  the  fantastic  spirit 
of  the  age  as  a  mark  for  skill  or  bravery,  and  with  no  more 
claims  to  our  respect  than  the  silken  banner  of  the  joust 
where  they  adjudged  the  prizes  to  the  victorious  knights  of 
old.  We  are  all  too  ready  to  forget  that  the  very  banner  for 
the  joust  was  always  worked  by  female  fingers,  and  that 
many  of  the  luxurious  trappings  of  chivalry  were  the  outcome 
of  long  hours  of  secluded  leisure  and  female  industry  and 
ingenuity.  Then  ought  not  the  delightful  old  tapestries 
which  adorn  the  walls  of  the  most  ancient  of  our  "  stately 
homes  of  England"  to  remind  us  that  ladies  of  the  past, 
although  they  were  not  prominent  in  public  affairs,  did  not 
waste  their  time,  and  that  they  were  not  by  any  means  the 
nonentities  we  sometimes  imagine  them  to  have  been  ?  As 
early  as  the  eleventh  century  the  women  of  England  were  so 
renowned  for  embroidery  that  it  was  called  "  English  work," 
just  as  in  ancient  times  it  was  "  Phrygian  work  ; "  and  surely 
we  have  all  read  of  Mathildis,  an  Englishwoman,  distinguished 
for  her  skill  for  dyeing  purple,  and  adorning  robes  with  gold, 
gems,  paintings,  and  flowers.  So,  you  see,  we  are  not  so  very 

Working  Guilds  and  Work  Societies.  73 

much  more  advanced  in  1893,  at  least  as  regards  needlework 
and  artistic  designs,  than  were  the  ladies  of  the  eleventh 

In  the  following  century,  the  reputation  for  needlework 
was  well  maintained,  but  the  names  of  those  skilled  with  the 
needle  which  come  down  to  us  from  that  epoch  invariably 
belong  to  the  aristocratic  class.  For  instance,  Christina 
Princess  of  Margate,  who  lived  towards  the  end  of  the 
twelfth  century,  was  so  skilled  in  art  needlework  that  a  pair 
of  sandals  which  she  embroidered  were  declared  to  be  perfect 
"  wonders."  The  "  wonders  "  were  presented  by  the  Abbot 
of  St.  Albans  to  the  Pope  of  the  day. 

In  the  fourteenth  century  we  cannot  by  any  stretch  of 
imagination  regard  the  women  as  puppets.  The  time  is  a 
most  interesting  one,  and  women  stand  out  prominently  as 
being  the  means  of  establishing  industry  upon  the  ruins  of 
feudalism.  Extravagance  had  beggared  the  knights  ;  pro- 
perty had  changed  hands  ;  skilled  artificers  were  now  in  the 
ascendant ;  and,  oddly  enough,  the  largest  proportion  of 
skilled  workers  happened  to  be  women.  Male  artificers  were 
tied  down  to  the  following  of  one  profession  only  ;  but  the 
same  law  gave  liberty  to  women  to  practise  a  variety  of 
trades.  Nor  were  they  backward  in  availing  themselves  of 
the  privileges  denied  to  the  men ;  and  an  energetic  female, 
with  the  butterfly  propensities  peculiar  to  her  sex,  and  from 
sheer  love  of  variety,  could  roam  over  every  trade  and 
remunerative  occupation  until  she  lighted  upon  one  to  her 
liking.  The  records  of  those  days  tell  us  of  female  brewers, 
bakers,  weavers,  spinners,  embroiderers,  and  others  employed 
in  various  works  of  linen,  wool,  and  silk.  But  the  female 
artificer  in  those  days  was  distinguished  from  the  men  by 
the  suffix  "  ster  ; "  thus  a  brewster,  webster,  and  backster 
meant  a  woman  who  could  brew,  weave,  and  bake.  In  the 
fifteenth  century  we  hear  of  female  manufacturers  in  weaving, 
carding,  spinning,  and  other  branches  of  industry  which  are 
mentioned  in  a  public  document.  But  in  1457  the  silk-women 
of  London  brought  disaster  on  themselves  by  not  keeping 
quiet.  They  memorialized  the  Legislature  in  no  measured 
terms  on  the  injury  they  sustained  from  the  free  importation 
of  foreign  goods  of  the  kind  by  which  they  earned  their 

74  Woman 's  Mission. 

livelihood.  Meetings  were  held  ;  fiery  speeches  were  delivered ; 
indignant  appeals  were  made  ;  resolutions  were  passed  amid 
laughter,  defiance,  and  applause  ;  but  in  the  end  the  agitation 
was  successful — so  far.  Parliament  exerted  itself  and  gave 
them  what  they  wanted  ;  but  their  womanly  voices  had  been 
heard,  and  these  sounds  were  evidently  not  pleasing  to 
masculine  ears ;  for  there  came  a  time  (about  1464,  I  think) 
when  it  was  determined  by  the  powers  that  were  that  women 
should  resume  their  dependent  position,  and  by  degrees  they 
were  surely,  although  imperceptibly,  elbowed  out  of  their 
employments  by  the  sterner  sex.  The  men,  apparently,  in 
carrying  on  those  trades  which  for  nearly  a  century  had  been 
pursued  by  women,  had  no  objection  to  the  feminine  appella- 
tions, and  in  their  turn  became  known  as  brewsters,  backsters, 
websters,  and  so  on.  Only  one  of  these  names  they  left, 
namely,  spinster  ;  and  that  appellation  all  unmarried  ladies 
retain  to  this  day,  whether  they  follow  the  occupation  of 
spinning  or  not. 

But  to  pass  on  to  Ladies'  Guilds.  The  first  I  can  hear 
of  is  a  Literary  Guild,  started  about  the  year  1851,  which 
flourished  for  a  short  time  only.  Then  arose  an  association 
called  the  Ladies'  Guild,  which  women  who  craved  for 
remunerative  employment  could  become  members  of  by  join- 
ing a  school  for  instruction  in  decorative  art,  paying  the  small 
sum  of  two  and  sixpence  per  week  ;  the  school  having  its 
habitat  somewhere  near  Fitzroy  Square,  London.  This 
decorative  art  turned  out  to  be  some  peculiar  form  of  painting 
on  glass.  I  believe  I  am  right  in  saying  that  this  second 
of  Ladies'  Guilds  also  came  to  grief  before  very  long. 
Parents  were  still  unwilling  that  their  daughters  should 
follow  any  but  a  few  accustomed  employments. 

From  that  time  to  the  present  all  kinds  of  Ladies'  Guilds 
have  sprung  up.  Some  have  flourished  like  the  proverbial 
bay-tree,  others  have  perished.  However,  it  is  not  of  the 
Employment  Bureau  Guilds  I  wish  to  speak,  but  of  certain 
Ladies'  Needlework  Guilds  in  England,  organized  and  carried 
on  in  the  sacred  cause  of  charity  ;  and  a  few  details  con- 
cerning these  admirable  charities  will  assure  you  that  the 
ladies  of  England  are  no  less  handy  and  ready  with  their 
needles  than  they  were  hundreds  of  years  ago.  All  that 

Working  Guilds  and  Work  Societies.  75 

appertains  to  needlework  does  not  result  in  glitter,  show,  and 
frivolity.  These  charitable  guilds  stand  in  the  by-paths 
where  the  needle  is  not  wielded  for  fashion  alone,  but  humbly, 
quietly,  and  dexterously,  by  busy  and  energetic  women,  for 
the  good  of  others  less  fortunately  placed  in  the  world. 

The  Needlework  Guild  that  Lady  Wolverton  originated 
provides  comfortable  clothing  for  orphan  children.  This 
guild  is  an  illustration  of  "  Little  by  little  the  acorn  grew  ;  " 
but,  for  that  matter,  the  same  may  be  said  of  all  Ladies' 
Working  Guilds,  since  they  all  sprang  from  very  small 
beginnings,  and  grew  to  flourishing  estate  without  ostentation. 
They  are  the  outcome  of  individual  or  combined  efforts  on 
the  part  of  numbers  of  kind-hearted  and  compassionate 
ladies,  whose  attention  is  not  centred  exclusively  on  them- 
selves, their  pleasures  and  amusements,  but  who  have  thoughts 
to  spare  for  unfortunate  fellow-creatures  lost  in  the  depths  of 

It  was  because  Lady  Wolverton  would  not  believe  in  the 
word  "  impossible,"  as  applied  to  any  good  work,  that  her 
guild  came  into  existence.  Ten  years  ago  she  was  suddenly 
asked  to  make  a  certain  number  of  jerseys  (for  some  poor 
little  orphans)  in  an  incredibly  short  space  of  time ;  a  task 
"which,  even  working  day  and  night,  ten  ringers  could  not 
accomplish."  The  sympathetic  answer  to  the  request  was, 
"  All  right,"  and  all  right  it  turned  out  to  be.  Lady  Wolver- 
ton called  together  all  her  friends  who  had  spare  time  on 
their  hands,  and  enlisted  them  in  the  good  service.  From 
that  incident  the  Needlework  Guild  sprung,  which  now 
flourishes  under  the  general  presidency  of  her  Royal  Highness 
the  Duchess  of  Teck,  who  is  keenly  interested  in  the  work. 
Its  magnitude  will  at  once  be  seen  when  we  gather  that  from 
three  branches  of  the  guild  alone,  London,  Surrey,  and 
Middlesex,  over  70,000  articles  of  clothing  were  contributed 
this  last  year. 

But  by  far  the  largest  and  most  influential  of  the  guilds 
is  that  of  which  the  Duchess  of  Teck  is  president.  It  includes 
all  Middlesex ;  but  London  and  Middlesex  being  too  large 
to  embrace  in  one  scheme,  the  Duchess  divided  her  guild 
into  two.  North  Middlesex  and  part  of  Surrey  is  under  the 
general  presidency  of  her  Royal  Highness  the  Duchess  of 

76  Woman's  Mission. 

Albany,  under  whom  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts  acts  as 
president  of  the  North  London  Association.  The  Duchess 
of  Teck  received  last  year,  and  sent  out  in  November,  over 
30,000  parcels  of  clothing ;  and  from  the  North  London 
Branch  of  the  Duchess  of  Albany's  Guild  over  1000  packages 
were  received  and  sent  out.  In  the  Middlesex  Needlework 
Guild  there  are  Ladies'  Working  Parties  of  the  Ragged 
School  Union,  of  which  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts  is 
president,  and  truly  wonderful  is  the  quantity  of  work  turned 
out  by  the  members  of  this  union.  And  as  I  write  the  name 
of  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  I  cannot  help  thinking  that 
here  is  one  noted  Englishwoman  who  is  a  Guild  in  herself : 
so  varied,  so  systematic,  so  thorough,  and  so  numerous  have 
been  her  charities. 

The  Berkshire  and  Buckingham  Needlework  Guild  was 
established  early  in  the  year  1890  by  her  Royal  Highness 
Princess  Beatrice  (Princess  Henry  of  Battenberg),  for  supply- 
ing warm  and  useful  clothing  to  poor  parishes  and  institutions 
in  the  above-named  counties.  The  Princess  has  many  willing 
workers  enlisted  under  her  banner,  and  so  indefatigable  have 
they  been  that  the  number  of  articles  sent  in  each  year  has 
been  nearly  double  that  of  the  preceding  year.  To  this  guild 
the  president  of  each  centre  contributes  a  small  annual  sum 
of  three  shillings,  and  each  vice-president  two  and  sixpence  ; 
but  "  associates  "  only  contribute  their  work.  The  Princess 
Beatrice  is  president  also  of  the  Isle  of  Wight  Needlework 
Guild,  which  was  started  in  the  autumn  of  1889.  A  guild 
which  does  not  ask  for  any  contributions  in  money  is  Lady 
Melville's  North  St.  Pancras  Working  Guild.  Originated  by 
herself,  its  operation  is  confined  to  a  comparatively  small 
locality  ;  but  acquaintance  with  its  working  assures  us  that 
though  the  association  is  less  imposing  than  many  others, 
it  yet  covers  a  large  area  of  usefulness. 

Another  very  useful  although  comparatively  small  asso- 
ciation is  the  Diocese  of  Ripon  Ladies'  Needlework  Guild, 
founded  in  connection  with  the  Clothing  Guild  for  Poor  Clergy 
by  Mrs.  Boyd  Carpenter,  who  felt  that  although  cast-off  outer 
garments  might  still  be  acceptable  to  the  over-pressed  wives 
of  the  clergy,  the  same  could  hardly  be  said  of  underclothing. 
Therefore  she  invited  her  friends  to  become  members  of  this 

Working  Guilds  and  Work  Societies.  77 

Needlework  Guild,  in  order  to  supply  new  underclothing  for 
distribution  among  the  clergy  of  the  diocese. 

The  Guernsey  Society  for  Supplying  Needlework  to  the 
Respectable  Poor  was  started  seven  years  ago.  The  poor 
receive  parcels  of  unmade  work,  and  on  presenting  the  gar- 
ments finished  receive  payment  for  them, — the  object  of  the 
society  being  to  supply  women  of  good  character  with  needle- 
work in  their  homes  during  the  winter  months. 

The  Alford  Needlework  Association  in  Buckingham 
Palace  Road,  founded  by  the  late  Lady  Marian  Alford  in 
1884,  and  now  under  the  direction  of  the  Earl  Brownlow,  had 
two  objects  in  view  at  its  foundation, — objects  which  have 
never  been  lost  sight  of.  Lady  Alford  and  the  ladies 
associated  with  her  proposed  to  make  needlework  a  recog- 
nized trade,  and  to  enlarge  the  circle  of  trained  needlewomen 
so  as  to  enable  them  to  get  a  higher  rate  of  wages.  The 
second  object  was  to  divide  these  trained  needlewomen  into 
classes.  The  workrooms  are  divided  out  into  three  depart- 
ments. The  first  is  occupied  by  sailors'  and  soldiers'  widows 
and  daughters,  who  work  chiefly  at  army  and  navy  clothing  ; 
the  second  is  occupied  by  workwomen  of  a  higher  standard, 
who  undertake  the  making  of  trousseaux,  Indian  outfits,  and 
work  of  a  similar  nature ;  while  in  the  third  department 
ladies  in  reduced  circumstances  toil  at  any  kind  of  plain  or 
artistic  needlework  with  which  they  are  familiar.  Attached 
to  this  institution  is  a  registry  office  which,  for  a  small  fee, 
supplies  dressmakers  and  needlewomen  by  the  day. 

The  latest  of  all  these  institutions  is  the  Theatrical 
Ladies'  Guild.  It  seems  that  the  idea  of  this  guild  was 
thrown  into  shape  by  three  or  four  compassionate  and  warm- 
hearted members  of  the  dramatic  profession,  moved  by  a 
knowledge  of  the  destitution  in  which  some  poor  members 
find  themselves  when  they  are  about  to  become  mothers. 
A  scheme  was  thereupon  set  afloat  by  Mrs.  C.  L.  Carson, 
with  the  design  of  getting  together  such  articles  of  clothing 
as  are  needed  at  such  times  ;  and  parcels  of  these  (with  bed- 
linen)  are  despatched  whenever  they  are  wanted.  Upon  the 
return  of  this  first  parcel,  another  is  sent  as  a  gift :  this 
parcel  consists  of  a  complete  set  of  short-clothes  for  the 
baby.  The  appeal  for  help  to  start  the  guild  was  speedily 

7 8  Woman's  Mission. 

responded  to,  and  it  is  now  in  a  very  thriving  condition  and 
doing  a  most  useful  work. 

Before  closing  this  little  paper  I  feel  that  I  ought  to 
make  some  allusion  to  bazaars,  which  have  earned  from  time 
to  time  large  sums  of  money  for  good  causes.  These  bazaars 
could  not  have  been  carried  out  had  not  an  infinite  amount 
of  thought  and  personal  labour  been  bestowed  on  them  by 
a  great  number  of  energetic  and  charitably  minded  ladies ; 
who,  though  they  may  have  only  formed  themselves  into 
Guilds  for  the  nonce,  have  laboured  quite  as  faithfully  and 
benevolently  as  the  members  of  more  lasting  Working  Ladies' 
guilds.  The  first  bazaar  of  any  note  was  held  long  ago  at 
York  ;  and,  if  I  mistake  not,  the  ladies  who  took  part  in 
it  were  rather  bitterly  reproached  for  turning  themselves  into 
temporary  shopkeepers,  even  for  sweet  charity's  sake,  and 
met  with  a  good  deal  of  opposition.  A  little  time  after, 
there  was  a  Dickens  Bazaar  in  London,  at  which  all  the  fair 
stall-holders  dressed  as  some  Dickens'  character ;  and  from 
that  time  to  this  bazaars  have  always  held  their  own. 

And  then  we  should  be  "  real  ungrateful,"  as  Americans 
would  say,  if,  while  speaking  of  Ladies'  Guilds,  we  neglected 
to  draw  public  attention  to  the  ready  help  accorded  to  many 
a  benevolent  undertaking  by  the  artistes — singers,  actresses, 
reciters,  of  all  nationalities — who  foregather  in  London. 
They  are  ever  willing  to  give  their  services  at  concerts, 
organized  now  for  one  charity  and  now  for  another ;  and 
they  are  as  untiring  in  their  endeavours  to  please  on  these 
occasions  as  though  a  handsome  cheque  awaited  them  at  the 
end  of  the  performance. 

(     79     ) 


"  Life  hath  no  dim  and  lowly  spot 
That  doth  not  in  her  sunshine  share." 


"THERE  is  no  new  thing  under  the  sun,"  and  certainly 
woman's  work  on  behalf  of  the  poor  and  suffering  is  no  new 
thing.  From  the  earliest  ages,  so  far  as  human  history  goes, 
woman,  under  the  most  adverse  circumstances,  has  ever  been 
associated  with  deeds  of  charity  and  kindness.  As  Dryden 
sings  of  one — 

"  Such  multitudes  she  fed,  she  clothed,  she  nurst, 
That  she  herself  might  fear  her  wanting  first. 
Of  her  five  talents,  other  five  she  made." 

Hence,  in  the  modern 'revival  of  benevolence  and  philanthropic 
activity,  woman  has  borne  her  full  share.  Elizabeth  Fry  and 
Florence  Nightingale  were  but  pioneers,  in  whose  footsteps 
have  gladly  trod  thousands  whose  names,  unknown  to  public 
fame,  have  yet  been  a  very  perfume  amongst  the  afflicted  and 
forsaken.  Wherever  sorrow,  suffering,  or  sickness  is  found, 
there  runs  the  golden  thread  of  woman's  ministry  and 

As  in  savage  Dahomey  the  Amazons  lead  the  fiercest 
charges  and  are  in  the  forefront  of  the  onslaught,  so,  in  the 
nobler  warfare  against  ignorance  and  vice,  misery  and  want, 
women  have  ever  been  found  in  the  leading  ranks,  willing  to 
spend  and  be  spent,  and  hoping  against  hope  when  the 
stronger  sex  have  felt  inclined  to  give  up  in  despair  of  doing 
any  good.  In  the  mighty  movements  of  the  present  century 
they  have  taken  their  full  part,  doing  the  real,  quiet,  steady 

So  Woman  s  Mission. 

work,  sacrificing  themselves  freely  on  behalf  of  the  poor  and 
the  perishing. 

If  this  be  true  in  general,  it  has  been  peculiarly  so  in  the 
great  Ragged  School  movement,  for  ever  associated  with  the 
name  of  the  Earl  of  Shaftesbury.  Half  a  century  ago,  a  few 
earnest  men  bestirred  themselves  in  regard  to  the  neglected 
children  of  the  poor  ;  and,  as  the  earliest  reports  'show,  these 
pioneers  found  their  most  loyal  and  trusted  helpers  in  the 
women  who  gave  time  and  talents,  strength  and  devotion,  to 
the  furtherance  of  the  cause. 

To  those  who  have  familiarized  themselves  in  any  degree 
with  the  early  history  of  Ragged  Schools,  this  simple  state- 
ment of  fact  means  much.  Ragged  School  teaching  in  those 
days  was  no  light  task.  Nor  is  it  so  now ;  but  then  it 
demanded  an  heroic :  endurance  and  courage.  The  lawless, 
untamed  children  who  came  to  the  schools  first  opened  had 
never  known  what  it  was  to  obey.  Discipline,  cleanliness, 
order,  were  all  alike  foreign  to  their  ideas.  They  thronged 
into  the  new  schools  with  the  purpose  of  having  a  bit  of  fun 
by  upsetting  everything.  They  blew  out  the  candles,  flung 
over  the  forms,  let  birds  and  mice  loose  in  the  room  in  order 
to  create  an  uproar  among  the  scholars  and  shake  the  nerves 
of  the  teachers.  These  and  a  hundred  similar  tricks  devised 
by  the  ingenuity  of  these  street  Arabs  had  to  be  endured,  and 
as  often  as  possible  ignored,  by  the  devoted  few  who  "  blazed 
the  way  "  into  the  primeval  forests  of  ignorance  and  neglect. 

Nor  was  this  all.  No  Ragged  School  building  then 
existed,  and  these  early  efforts  had  to  be  made  in  stables, 
cellars,  attics,  and  all  kinds  of  close  hot  rooms,  which,  when 
crowded  by  unwashed  children,  would  often  become  so  fetid 
and  unwholesome  that  fainting  was  no  uncommon  occurrence. 
Many  of  the  teachers  who  encountered  these  early  trials 
were  women — women  of  delicate  frames  but  heroic  spirit,  the 
martyrs  of  the  early  days  of  the  movement. 

Woman's  work  in  the  Ragged  Schools  has  embraced 
many  departments.  Her  gentle  forbearance,  tireless  patience, 
consuming  zeal,  keen  perception,  ready  adaptability,  quick 
thought,  and  willing  self-sacrifice  for  the  sake  of  others,  have 
pervaded  the  whole  enterprise,  bringing  the  cause  trium- 
phantly through  its  darkest  hours. 

Woman  s  Work  in  tlte  Ragged  Schools.          81 

While,  however,  woman's  influence  has  moulded  in  some 
degree  the  whole  movement,  there  have  been  departments 
which  she  has  made  specially  her  own.  In  giving  some 
outline  of  these  it  is  not  possible  to  enter  on  minute  details 
or  mention  names.  Their  many  names  are  enrolled  on  high, 
their  work  abides,  and  its  blessed  results  are  known  of  all 
who  have  benefited  by  or  shared  in  their  service. 

The  departments  of  Ragged  School  labour  which  woman 
has  made  her  own  have  been  teaching,  mothers'  meetings, 
visitation  of  the  sick  and  the  poor,  and  clothing  the  naked  ; 
as  well  as  such  later  developments  as  holiday  homes,  and  the 
work  among  home  cripples.  In  reviewing  these,  we  begin 
with  teaching,  the  first  step  in  the  work.  If  the  boys  in 
early  days  were  rough  and  lawless,  the  girls  were  no  less  so. 
With  them  men  could  do  nothing  ;  but,  as  the  well-thumbed 
reports  of  pioneer  days  attest,  women's  patience  gradually 
tamed  the  girls,  to  many  of  whom  love  and  gentleness  came 
almost  as  a  revelation.  But  ere  their  hearts  were  reached 
much  had  to  be  borne  by  the  teachers  who  yearned  over 
them  and  shed  many  a  tear  on  their  behalf.  The  girls' 
classes  have  always  been  under  the  care  of  ladies,  and  these 
come  from  all  ranks  of  society.  In  one  school,  East  End 
way,  may  be  found,  almost  any  evening,  teachers  from  both 
ends  of  the  social  scale  working  side  by  side,  and  equally 
prompt  in  drying  the  eyes  of  some  unhappy  child  or  giving 
it  a  much-needed  wash.  This  unity  of  purpose  between 
varied  social  grades  has  long  been  characteristic  of  the 
Ragged  School  enterprise. 

As  these  little  girls  grow  up,  the  ladies  seek  to  hold  and 
win  them  by  forming  girls'  clubs  and  friendly  societies,  and 
in  a  hundred  ways  trying  to  retain  their  confidence,  and  help 
them  in  the  trials  peculiar  to  their  hard  lives.  They  have 
formed  successfully,  not  only  Bible  classes,  but  also  sewing, 
dressmaking,  woolwork,  and  similar  useful  classes,  teaching 
them  how  to  wield  deftly  woman's  weapon,  the  needle. 
Cooking  classes  also  flourish  in  many  of  the  schools.  And, 
as  intemperance  is  the  ruin  of  tens  of  thousands,  temperance 
work  has  ever  been  kept  well  to  the  front  by  the  women 
workers  of  the  Ragged  Schools.  Nor  has  their  teaching- 
sphere  included  girls  only.  Long  ago  brave,  resolute  women 


82  Woman  s  Mission. 

volunteered  to  try  the  effect  of  woman's  influence  on  rough 
lads  who  had  defied  a  male  teacher's  authority.  In  many  such 
cases  the  only  course  had  seemed  to  be  expulsion  from  the 
school  for  the  sake  of  other  scholars,  when  some  pitying  lady 
teacher  offered  to  give  them  one  more  chance.  We  have 
before  us,  as  we  write,  the  record  of  such  noble  undertakings  ; 
and  in  each  one  of  them  the  gentle  love  of  her  who  thus,  in 
weakness  and  trembling,  faced  the  roughs,  has  been  crowned 
with  fullest  success. 

Only  the  other  night  we  heard  a  father,  the  superintendent 
of  a  successful  school,  tell  how  when  the  rough  lads  broke  all 
bounds,  he  asked  his  own  daughter  to  try  them.  She  con- 
senting, he  wisely  appointed  two  of  the  wildest  spirits  as  her 
bodyguard.  Put  on  their  honour,  they  well  fulfilled  their 
charge ;  and  although  she  taught  that  class  for  years  she 
never  met  with  a  single  insult — conquering  by  love  and 
patience.  Many  of  these  very  lads  are  now  prosperous 
Christian  men  and  earnest  teachers.  Their  own  statement 
is  that  under  God  they  owe  everything  to  the  girl  who 
undertook  to  "  try  the  roughs,"  rather  than  that  they  should 
be  expelled  and  left  to  drift  to  ruin.  The  story  of  Ragged 
Schools  contains  many  such  episodes  of  womanly  courage 
and  womanly  magnetism. 

But  even  rougher  and  more  reckless  than  these  lads  were 
many  of  the  factory  girls  engaged  in  cocoa,  cigar,  fancy  box, 
button,  and  similar  manufactories ;  not  to  mention  the 
rougher  classes  of  labour,  dust  sorting,  jute  and  rope  factories. 
These  seemed  hopelessly  defiant.  Every  attempt  to  reach 
and  interest  them  appeared  doomed  to  failure.  Taken 
separately  they  might  be  managed,  but  in  groups  they  but 
dared  one  another  to  play  the  wildest  pranks.  We  have  seen 
them  turn  out  the  gas,  upset  the  forms,  and  reduce  the  whole 
place  to  utter  chaos,  until  the  weary  teacher  had  to  beat  a 
hasty  and  sorrowful  retreat.  Yet  even  here,  woman's 
ingenuity,  patience,  and  gentleness  have  won  their  way. 
Those  who  would  not  be  taught  better  things  proved  willing 
to  learn  how  to  mend  their  clothes,  make  a  tidy  apron,  or 
trim  a  hat ;  and  at  the  end  of  an  hour's  practical  help  of  this 
kind  would  listen  to  a  few  loving  words.  So  were  they  won, 
so  are  they  being  won  day  by  day  in  our  factory  girls'  clubs 

Woman  s  Work  in  the  Ragged  Schools.          83 

and  institutes.  It  is  a  work  which  has  taxed  woman's  best 
and  rarest  gift,  and  yet  after  all  has  yielded  grand  results. 
The  ladies  who  have  endured  the  most  are  now  the  readiest 
to  declare  the  work  is  worth  doing  and  the  factory  girls 
worth  winning. 

Then  also  Mothers'  Meetings,  so  closely  associated  with 
Ragged  Schools,  have  been  peculiarly  women's  work.  Mrs. 
Bayly,  who  led  the  way  in  founding  these  useful  helps  for 
mothers,  wrote  last  winter  a  paper  for  a  Ragged  School 
Workers'  Conference,  in  which  she  dwelt  on  the  value  of 
Mothers'  Meetings  in  creating  a  new  atmosphere  in  poor 
homes,  and  inspiring  thousands  of  women  with  new  ideas  as 
to  home  life  and  the  training  of  children.  We  need  not  do 
more  than  name  these  Mothers'  Meetings,  for  they  are 
thoroughly  appreciated  by  all  interested  in  home  mission 

Then  there  are  creches  for  the  infants  of  poor  mothers 
compelled  to  work  for  the  support  of  the  family.  Necessity 
knows  no  law,  and  mother  had  perforce  either  to  lock  baby 
in  a  room  all  day  alone,  or  leave  it  in  the  care  of  some  child 
but  little  older  ;  unless  she  handed  it  over  to  the  care  of 
some  woman  who  made  a  few  pence  by  minding  half  a  dozen 
babies,  or  rather  letting  them  mind  themselves.  Years  ago 
Mrs.  Hilton  led  the  way  in  opening  a  day  nursery  for  such 
infants.  Now  in  many  of  the  Ragged  Schools  there  are  airy, 
healthy,  well-managed  creches,  superintended  by  ladies.  As 
with  mothers'  meetings,  day  nurseries  have  been  peculiarly 
women's  work,  and  under  women's  direction  and  care. 

Turning  to  another  department,  the  records  of  the  Ragged 
School  movement  show  that  women  have  been  invaluable  as 
visitors.  They  have  followed  their  scholars  home,  sought  to 
help  the  poor  mothers  in  a  thousand  ways,  introducing  white- 
wash, soap  and  water,  and  the  beauties  of  tidy  cleanliness  ; 
besides  bringing  the  higher  and  sweeter  message  of  the 
Gospel.  In  times  of  sickness  the  teachers  have  been  sure  to 
find  their  way  to  the  poor  home.  No  pains  have  been  spared 
to  lighten,  alleviate,  and  cheer  the  homes  of  sorrow.  We 
know  of  one  who  for  twenty-five  years  has  been  daily  visiting 
in  one  poor  district.  She  knows  every  room  and  family 
therein,  and  is  looked  up  to  as  friend,  counsellor,  and  guide 

84  Woman's  Mission. 

in  sickness  or  distress,  yet  like  others  we  have  spoken  of  she 
is  a  voluntary  worker.  In  the  cholera  visitation  of  1866,  the 
self-sacrifice  and  devotion  of  the  lady  teachers  in  many  of  our 
poor  districts  was  simply  marvellous.  For  weeks  the  dead 
and  dying  were  all  around  them  ;  yet  they  flinched  not, 
visiting  constantly,  rendering  every  possible  service  to  the 
stricken,  weeping  with  the  bereaved,  contriving  for  the  widows 
and  orphans,  and  labouring  with  a  quiet  heroism  beyond  all 

This  service  in  distress,  in  sickness,  in  home  trouble  of 
every  kind,  has  been  specially  undertaken  by  women  in  the 
Ragged  School  Missions  of  later  times  ;  and  although  many 
devoted  men  have  shared  in  this  service,  yet  our  theme  is 
woman's  work,  and  no  account  thereof  would  be  complete 
without  this  mention  of  woman's  ministry  in  the  homes  of 
the  poor. 

There  are  also  the  clothing  operations,  which  are  due  to 
the  sympathy  and  keen  eyes  of  the  lady  teachers,  who,  seeing 
how  the  children — many  of  them — shivered  in  their  thin  rags, 
set  their  wits  to  work  to  make  and  mend  for  those  in  need. 
The  earliest  efforts  were  simply  the  result  of  the  interchange 
of  confidences  between  the  lady  teachers,  as  to  the  pitiable 
condition  of  some  of  their  children.  Old  frocks  and  other 
things  were  repaired  and  altered  to  fit  special  cases.  The 
need  was  whispered  abroad,  other  ladies  helped  or  sent  gifts 
of  second-hand  clothing  and  boots.  These  came  through  the 
Ragged  School  Union,  and  the  work  grew  as  the  state  of 
things  among  the  children  of  the  poor  became  more  widely 

Then  in  later  years  ladies'  working  parties,  needlework 
guilds,  Guilds  of  the  Good  Samaritan,  and  so  on,  were 
organized  by  energetic  helpers.  In  due  course  a  Ladies' 
Auxiliary  to  the  Ragged  School  Union  was  formed,  under 
the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  one  of  the  most  large-hearted 
of  our  philanthropists,  and  a  life-long  generous  and  consistent 
friend  of  Ragged  Schools. 

We  may  perhaps  mention  a  few  of  the  ladies'  working 
parties  which,  on  behalf  of  ragged  children,  are  in  beneficial 
action.  There  are  the  London  Needlework  Guild,  under  the 
leadership  of  the  Hon.  Mrs.  Halford  ;  the  Tulse  Hill  Ladies' 

Woman's  Work  in  the  Ragged  Schools.          85 

Working  Party ;  the  Chiswick  Dorcas  Society ;  the  Guild  of 
the  Good  Samaritan,  and  similar  working  parties  at  Sidcup, 
Highbury,  Highgate,  Finchley,  Hampstead,  Harrow,  Bromley, 
Ealing,  Hemel  Hempstead,  Godalming,  Melksham,  Swansea, 
and  elsewhere.  H.R.H.  the  Princess  Louise,  and  H.R.H.  the 
Princess  Mary,  and  many  other  ladies  have  co-operated  by 
sending  gifts  of  warm  clothing.  One  friend,  with  her  house- 
hold, makes  up  complete  outfits  for  boys,  even  to  shirts, 
stockings,  and  boots.  We  only  mention  these  as  illustrative 
of  what  ladies  are  doing  for  the  ragged  and  shoeless  children 
in  London  alone. 

These  working  parties  assume  many  forms.  There  are 
"  Busy  Bee  "  parties,  and  Bible-class  sewing  parties.  Visiting 
a  mission  only  the  other  day,  we  found  the  members  of  a 
Young  Women's  Bible-class  hard  at  work  stitching  garments 
for  poor  girls.  Then  there  are  household  parties  ;  mistresses 
interesting  their  maids,  often  with  the  best  results.  It  is 
wonderful  how  many  useful  articles  come  to  us  from  domestic 

Then  come  the  Holiday  Homes,  of  which  the  Ragged 
School  Union  has  now  ten,  and  in  which  ladies  have  largely 
co-operated.  Indeed,  a  very  fine  home,  Arthur's  Home,  at 
Bognor,  only  lately  opened,  was  a  lady's  noble  gift  to  the 
Ragged  School  Union — a  mother's  memorial  to  her  son,  who 
loved  poor  children.  At  Addiscombe,  near  Croydon,  Louisa, 
Lady  Ashburton  has  built  three  holiday  homes  for  adults, 
children,  and  infants  with  their  mothers.  In  these  homes,  of 
course,  women  find  their  sphere  as  matrons  and  helpers.  In 
the  whole  Holiday  Home  movement  women  aid  in  the 
heartiest  way ;  and  in  truth,  going  back  to  origins,  the  move- 
ment itself,  which  this  year  gave  to  over  five  thousand  weary 
sickly  children  a  fortnight's  holiday  in  the  country  or  by  the 
seaside,  sprang  from  a  woman's  loving  thought  in  inviting  a 
few  poor  children  to  stay  some  days  in  her  cottage  in  the 
country.  So  in  this,  as  in  many  another  departure  in  service, 
woman  led  the  way. 

Coming  now  to  another  new  development,  we  find  in  this 
case  that  a  man,  not  a  woman,  was  the  pioneer ;  but,  once 
suggested,  women  have  been  its  best  helpers.  This  is  the 
Home  Cripples'  Branch,  started  by  an  American,  who  dis- 

86  Woman's  Mission. 

covered  hundreds  of  maimed,  crippled,  helpless  little  prisoners 
in  .out-of-the-way  slums,  unable  to  move  out  of  doors,  un- 
taught, uncared  for  in  every  way,  and  dragging  out  their  sad 
lives  in  lonely  misery.  He  is  now  helped  in  this  work  by  a 
blind  lady  visitor,  who  has  learned  to  find  her  way  to  the 
rooms  where  the  little  cripples  lie,  bringing  them  words  of 
cheer,  and  changing  from  one  to  another  toys,  picture  books, 
and  the  like,  to  while  away  the  weary  hours.  There  are  also 
two  certificated  kindergarten  ladies,  teaching  those  capable 
of  tuition  to  read  and  sing  ;  thus  affording  them  some  pleasure 
and  occupation  in  life  ;  and  a  widow  is  doing  good  service  as 
a  sort  of  mothers'  assistant  and  nurse.  So  in  this  new  effort 
on  behalf  of  a  peculiarly  pitiful  class,  women  are  doing  work 
which  they  alone  can  do. 

It  will  be  borne  in  mind  that  in  mentioning  these  few 
illustrative  instances,  we  are  referring  to  a  work  embracing, 
in  London  alone,  two  hundred  Ragged  School  Missions,  with 
between  four  and  five  thousand  voluntary  teachers,  more 
than  half  of  whom  are  women.  In  this  movement,  which 
has  progressed  for  nearly  half  a  century,  women  have  taken 
their  part ;  some  for  short  periods,  it  is  true,  others  for  many 
years.  Apart  from  the  vast  host  of  ladies  who  have  helped 
by  generous  gifts,  by  zealous  collections,  and  by  concerts, 
either  to  delight  poor  children  or  to  raise  funds  for  their 
benefit,  in  London  alone,  twenty  to  thirty  thousand  women 
have  directly  laboured  in  Ragged  School  work.  Thus  it  is 
evident  that  the  undoubted  success  attained  amongst  poor 
and  neglected  children  is  largely  owing  to  the  beneficial 
influence  of  woman's  hands,  woman's  head,  and  woman's 


EMIGRATION  is  a  subject  which  has  always  attracted  the 
attention  of  the  thoughtful,  but  it  is  far  from  being  thoroughly 
mastered.  Its  value  as  a  relief  to  over-population  in  Europe 
is  undoubted,  but  much  uncertainty  still  prevails  as  to  the 
right  methods  of  conducting  it.  The  uncertainty  arises 
principally  from  the  want  of  reciprocity,  and  the  value  of 
such  an  opportunity  as  the  present  one  of  bringing  before 
thoughtful  people  on  both  sides  of  the  water  the  importance 
of  a  more  extended  study  of  the  subject,  cannot  be  over- 

Roughly  speaking,  Emigration  may  be  regarded  in  two 
aspects.  There  have  always  been  the  emigrants  who  go  of 
their  own  free  will,  inspired  by  their  own  energy,  who  have 
founded  communities,  nay,  even  established  empires ;  and 
these  have  been  and  may  still,  at  the  present  time,  be  regarded 
as  the  salt  of  the  earth.  But  deeply  as  the  world's  history 
is  indebted  to  such  pioneers,  they  are  too  limited  in  number 
to  affect  the  question  much,  as  it  stands  at  present.  When- 
ever the  pioneers  thus  indicated  discover  the  treasures  of 
God's  earth  in  different  places  there  arises  a  vehement  outcry 
for  human  labour  to  utilize  these  gifts.  And  it  is  just  then 
that  intelligent  intervention  in  the  form  of  well-regulated 
emigration  is  invaluable. 

The  regulation  of  the  supply  of  labour,  everywhere  occupies 
the  thoughts  of  statesmen  and  philanthropists  ;  in  fact,  it  may 
be  called  the  burning  question  of  the  hour.  Emigration  must 
always  affect  it  powerfully,  and  this  resource  will  never  give 

88  Woman 's  Mission. 

all  the  relief  and  comfort  that  lies  within  its  capacity  until 
a  far  wider  and  more  detailed  knowledge  of  its  better  systems 
has  been  obtained. 

It  is  with  emigration  as  it  concerns  labour  that  we  now 
have  to  do,  and  our  business  is  to  show  what  has  been 
attempted  and  is  being  done  for  it  by  women.  They  have 
not  failed  in  former  years  to  bear  their  part.  Much  was 
done  by  Mrs.  Chisholm  forty  years  ago  for  the  better 
regulation  of  female  emigration  to  Australia ;  and  Lady 
Herbert  of  Lea,  Lady  Kinnaird,  and  other  workers,  co- 
operated with  the  effort  made  to  emigrate  working  women 
by  means  of  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert's  Emigration  Fund. 

The  society  called  the  British  Ladies'  Emigration  Associa- 
tion did  admirable  work  for  many  years  in  selecting  matrons 
for  the  protected  parties  going  to  Australia  and  other  British 
colonies.  These  matrons  collected  a  mass  of  information 
which  has  since  been  turned  to  good  account.  The  Women's 
Emigration,  the  Church  Emigration,  and  other  societies  have 
worked  on  the  same  lines.  They  have  gradually  proved  to 
us  that  the  transmission  of  emigrants  is  a  matter  requiring 
the  utmost  thought  and  preparation ;  and,  above  all,  they 
have  done  good  work  in  exploding  the  pernicious  theory 
that  it  is  right  to  send  away  a  thoughtless  insubordinate 
youth,  or  a  giddy  ill-conducted  girl,  as  a  remedy  for  what 
can  be  better  corrected  and  restrained  at  home.  But  the 
association  which  gives  the  most  accurate  and  careful 
attention  to  the  whole  of  its  methods  is  the  United  British 
Women's  Emigration  Association.  From  other  papers  the 
Congress  will  no  doubt  learn  the  value  of  the  special 
protection  and  care  secured  to  large  bodies  of  working  girls 
in  England  by  means  of  the  societies  known  as  the  Girls' 
Friendly,  the  Young  Women's  Christian,  the  Metropolitan 
Association  for  Befriending  Young  Servants,  and  the  Women's 
Help  Society.  Taken  in  the  aggregate,  these  bodies  represent 
nearly  300,000  persons  ;  and  in  referring  to  the  subject  before 
us  it  is  important  to  notice  that  the  officers  of  all  those 
societies  emigrate  their  members  through  the  organization 
of  the  United  British  Women's  Association.  Success  cannot 
be  attained  here  except  by  the  reciprocity  already  recom- 
mended, which  means  the  acquisition  of  full  knowledge  as 

Emigration.  89 

to  the  needs  of  localities,  rates  of  wages,  circumstances  of 
journey,  as  well  as  conscientious  co-operation  by  persons 
who  will  make  themselves  responsible  for  the  reception  of 
travellers  on  arrival.  All  these  are  needed  for  the  satisfactory 
distribution  of  emigrants,  and  in  the  case  of  women  going 
alone  additional  protection  has  to  be  secured.  In  late  years 
the  emigration  to  Canada  has  been  greatly  facilitated  by  the 
improvements  introduced  at  the  suggestion  of  Emigration 
Societies  by  the  three  great  shipping  lines.  They  have  been 
gradually  induced  by  the  workers  who  approach  them  with 
large  parties,  to  give  separate  quarters  for  men  and  women, 
to  place  the  unmarried  women  in  separate  compartments 
under  their  accredited  matrons,  arranging  the  married  women 
also  by  themselves  with  their  young  children.  And  the  care 
for  these  travellers  continues  till  they  reach  the  other  side 
of  the  great  continent,  for  they  are  handed  on  to  the  very 
ultimate  point  of  destination. 

It  is  a  pleasure  to  be  able  to  show  that  the  intervention 
of  women  has  procured  these  improvements, — that  the  care 
for  persons  of  all  sorts  who  wish  to  improve  their  condition 
may  be  supplied,  and  security  and  a  new  career  offered  to 
many  deserving  persons  through  the  intelligent  efforts  of 

But  obtaining  introductions  and  providing  travelling 
comfort  are  not  enough,  and  the  educational  side  of  the 
subject  has  not  been  neglected.  A  Colonial  Training  School 
for  young  servants  and  poor  ladies  is  at  work  at  Leaton  in 
Shropshire,  where  the  training  is  most  complete.  All  kinds 
of  household  work  are  well  taught,  including  milking,  dairy 
work,  laundry,  and  kitchen  details ;  and  the  girls  trained  are 
sent  out  under  the  care  of  the  United  British  Women's 
Association.  And  indeed  this  and  some  kindred  institutions 
may  be  regarded  as  supplying  the  best  means  of  relief  for 

It  is  to  Miss  Rye  that  England  was  first  indebted  for  the 
effort  to  relieve  her  of  orphan  pauper  children,  whom  she  has 
for  many  years  been  systematically  transferring  to  the  happy 
homesteads  of  Canada.  There  they  are  incorporated  in  the 
family  life  of  the  parents,  and  become  thorough  Canadian 
citizens.  By  this  effort  Miss  Rye  has  provided  for  more  than 

9O  Woman's  Mission. 

four  thousand  children,  of  whom  she  has  the  most  satisfactory 
accounts.  They  are  removed  from  the  taint  of  pauperism, 
from  a  joyless  unloved  childhood,  to  full  parental  care  and 
a  life  of  respectable  labour. 

The  best  feature  of  her  work  is  its  educational  side.  The 
children  are  all  passed  through  the  training-house  at  Niagara, 
and  full  supervision  is  continued  over  all  child  ren  after  they 
are  placed  out,  so  that  their  condition  can  always  be  ascer- 
tained if  necessary.  In  this  admirable  work  Miss  Rye  is 
aided  by  Miss  Macpherson,  and  rivalled,  perhaps,  by  Mrs. 
Bilbrough  Wallace's  excellent  training-school  at  Belleville, 
Ontario.  All  kinds  of  children  have  here  been  imported  and 
distributed,  either  to  adopting  parents,  or  put  to  well-organized 
employment ;  the  children  being  supervised  systematically 
by  Mrs.  Wallace's  own  inspector.  There  can  be  no  doubt 
that  the  emigration  of  orphan  children  is  the  best  possible 
means  of  relieving  them  in  the  calamity  of  their  bereavement, 
as  well  as  for  reducing  the  burdens  of  overcrowded  England. 
But  it  must  be  assisted  by  hearty  effort  on  the  other  side  of 
the  water.  It  is  greatly  to  be  desired  that  training  estab- 
lishments of  this  description  could  be  multiplied  in  the 
English  colonies,  and  indeed  in  all  countries  ;  as  the  kinds 
of  work,  and  the  moulding  of  domestic  habits,  would  then  be 
in  accordance  with  the  needs  of  the  places  where  they  are 
put.  English  workers  would  welcome  applications  from 
localities  or  individuals,  and  a  frank  interchange  of  communi- 
cation as  to  what  is  desired  and  expected  on  both  sides.  If 
this  were  more  frequent,  emigration  would  be  very  much  pro- 
moted ;  for  the  first  requisite  is  a  sound  understanding  of 
this  kind.  One  would  fain  hear  of  journeys  undertaken  with 
such  a  view,  so  that  workers  on  both  sides  should  have  a 
direct  acquaintance  with  each  other,  partaking  together  in 
the  vivid  human  interests  involved  in  their  labours. 

When  we  think  of  all  that  is  implied  in  the  great  problem 
of  how  to  adjust  the  distribution  of  the  human  race,  women 
may  well  be  proud  that  they  have  shown  themselves  com- 
petent to  help  forward  such  work.  At  this  moment  the 
United  British  Women  is  the  sole  association  that  has 
received  administrative  sanction  from  the  Dominion  Govern- 
ment For  three  years  it  has  also  been  employed  to  select 

Emigration.  9 1 

the  whole  of  the  female  emigrants  to  whom  the  Government 
of  Western  Australia  grants  free  passages.  By  means  of  its 
loan  fund  the  money  for  transmission  is  advanced  to  numbers 
who  would  but  too  probably  sink  in  the  struggle  at  home, 
and  whose  presence  elsewhere  becomes  a  blessing  to  the 

Is  it  too  much  to  hope  that  by  the  intelligent  co-operation 
of  women,  a  system  of  organized  transmission  may  be 
brought  to  bear  upon  all  the  English-speaking  communities 
throughout  the  world  ? 

92  Woman's  Mission. 



THE  navvies  form  in  England,  Scotland,  and  Wales  a  nomadic 
class  of  100,000  men,  besides  women  and  children.  Even  now 
they  are  still  outside  the  parochial,  educational,  sanitary,  and 
drink  laws.  They  move  about  from  one  public  work  to 
another,  a  distinct  class  or  tribe,  separated  by  habit  and 
circumstance  from  their  fellow-countrymen,  unthought  of  and 
uncared  for  save  by  our  poor  little  mission.  So  navvies  live 
and  die  ;  and  yet  it  is  to  their  toil  we  owe  our  docks,  canals, 
reservoirs,  sewerage  works,  and  railways.  Our  needs  are 
supplied  by  them  with  loss  of  life  and  limb.  Every  mile 
of  our  enjoyable  journey  by  rail  has  cost  a  navvy  a  limb, 
and  each  tunnel  has  involved  a  loss  of  from  one  to  twenty 
lives.  Arthington  Tunnel  on  the  way  to  Harrogate  cost 

It  was  in  1870  that  the  Leeds  Corporation  commenced 
the  construction  of  three  immense  reservoirs,  in  the  upper 
reaches  of  Wharfedale,  to  dam  up  a  mountain  river  and  then 
convey  its  pure  waters  to  Leeds,  seventeen  miles  away.  The 
lowest  of  these  reservoirs  was  made  at  Lindly  Wood,  a  tree- 
covered  vale  in  the  heart  of  the  hills,  four  miles  from  Otley 
and  eight  from  Harrogate.  Within  a  month  the  ground 
was  cleared  and  three  long  rows  of  brick  huts  erected,  also 
stables,  a  food  shop,  and  a  "  shant "  to  sell  beer ;  but  neither 
church  nor  school  for  these  people  was  ever  considered 
necessary  in  those  days.  Thank  God  !  there  is  not  a  settle- 
ment of  any  size  without  them  now. 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  93 

A  clergyman,  the  Rev.  Lewis  Moule  Evans,  curate  of 
Otley,  and  the  following  year  rector  of  Leathley  (a  village 
three  miles  down  the  valley),  went  amongst  this  new  and 
strange  population,  and  his  heart  burned  within  him.  He 
found  that  though  they  had  been  navvies  all  their  lives,  and 
so  had  dwelt  for  a  time  in  every  part  of  our  land,  "  no  man 
had  cared  for  them"  either  body  or  soul.  Ordinary  Bible 
truths  were  unknown  to  them,  and  Sunday  was  called  "  hair- 
cutting  and  dog-washing  day."  A  very  small  proportion  of 
the  men  and  women  could  read  and  write,  and  the  children 
were  growing  up  entirely  untaught. 

There  was  an  excellent  manager  at  Lindly  Wood  who 
suppressed  fighting,  and  would  not  allow  drink  to  be  sold 
illegally  in  the  huts.  This  was  not  (and  is  not)  the  case  on 
other  works.  In  those  days  the  usual  after-dinner  programme 
on  Sunday  was  a  fight,  and  often  the  "  backers  "  would  begin 
a  quarrel  on  their  own  account,  until  sometimes  twenty  or 
thirty  couples  were  fighting,  even  at  times  to  the  death.  The 
huts  were  generally  built  of  sods,  and  the  floor  was  the  bare 
ground.  Marriage  was  the  exception  amongst  the  hut- 
keepers,  and  indeed  navvies  lived,  and  would  live  now  were 
it  not  for  the  Navvy  Mission  Society,  as  a  heathen  class  in 
our  own  Christian  land.  On  the  other  hand,  they  were  brave, 
independent,  enduring,  generous,  clean,  and  noble  in  many  of 
their  unwritten  laws,  or  "  ways  of  the  line "  as  they  were 
called  ;  for  while  they  would  kill  a  policeman  who  ventured 
down  a  line  to  arrest  a  mate,  they  would  give  their  last 
shilling  as  a  "tramping  bob"  to  a  comrade  in  distress,  and 
no  navvy  was  ever  buried  as  a  pauper,  nor  did  orphan 
children  find  a  home  in  the  workhouse. 

The  squire,  Mr.  Fawkes,  built  Mr.  Evans  a  little  wooden 
church ;  and  a  brick  room,  used  as  a  hospital  during  an  out- 
break of  smallpox,  by  the  kindness  of  the  manager,  was 
turned  into  a  day  school  for  the  children  ;  and  a  reading- 
room  and  night  school  for  the  men  was  established.  Mr. 
Evans  engaged  an  able  schoolmistress.  Mr.  Fawkes  gave 
£20  a  year  towards  her  salary,  and  Mr.  Evans,  though  a  poor 
man,  bore  all  the  other  mission  expenses  himself.  A  post- 
office  clerk  and  three  working  youths  from  Otley  were  his 
assistants  in  the  Sunday  school.  After  two  services  in  his 

94  Woman 's  Mission. 

own  church  Mr.  Evans  walked  three  miles  up  to  Lindly  and 
gave  one  there  in  the  evening. 

It  was  a  Sunday  evening  in  the  late  autumn  of  1871  when 
I  first  saw  a  navvy  settlement.  I  was  staying  with  a  lady 
in  the  neighbourhood  and  walked  over.  It  was  dark  in  the 
valley,  and  as  I  walked  along  the  bank  of  the  river  I  suddenly 
slipped,  and  the  next  moment  expected  to  find  myself  whirled 
downwards  on  the  waters.  Happily,  a  bush  saved  me,  and 
I  walked  on  more  carefully  towards  the  twinkling  lights  in 
the  distance.  As  I  made  my  way  between  the  two  rows  of 
huts  to  the  wooden  church,  half  hidden  in  the  wood  beyond, 
a  strange  scene  presented  itself. 

The  doors  of  many  of  these  cottages  stood  open,  and 
bands  of  fire  and  lamp  light  fell  across  the  dark  road-space 
between  the  rows  of  huts.  In  the  clean  living-rooms  numbers 
of  fine  big  men  were  seated,  most  of  them  smoking  ;  they 
wore  white  clothes,  and  one  of  their  number  would  be  slowly 
reading  the  newspaper  to  his  mates.  The  tea-things  were  on 
the  tables,  and  the  noise  of  sputtering  ham  from  frying-pans, 
and  the  smell  of  cooking  were  on  the  air.  Here  and  there 
through  the  darkness  figures  were  making  their  way  up  the 
ascent  to  the  little  church.  Within  that  square  room  was 
assembled  the  strangest  congregation  I  had  ever  seen. 
"Drivers"  in  red  or  purple  plush  waistcoats  adorned  with 
large  pearl  buttons,  "piece-men"  or  "stout  uns"  in  white 
knee  cords  and  blue  woollen  stockings,  "  gangers "  in  brown 
velveteen  coats,  and  young  fellows,  with  the  invariable  bright 
red  cotton  neckerchief,  twirling  fur  caps  awkwardly  in  their 
hands,  were  sitting  on  one  side  of  the  building ;  on  the  other 
were  the  women,  mostly  stout,  capable  persons,  gay  in  plaided 
shawls,  and  bonnets  bright  with  artificial  flowers.  They  kept 
a  severe  eye  upon  the  children,  who,  as  the  schoolmistress 
said,  "behaved  like  pictures."  The  three  or  four  teachers 
clustered  round  a  single  candle  (for  we  had  not  yet  bought 
lamps)  and  "  led  "  the  singing. 

To  this  congregation  a  refined  and  delicate  clergyman  in 
a  white  surplice  was  ministering  in  a  quiet  voice,  but  very 
earnestly.  When  the  service  had  ended,  we  all  went  out 
under  the  shadowing  boughs  and  saw  the  overarching  sky 
bespangled  with  stars.  The  rushing  of  the  river  came  softly 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  95 

to  us,  the  silent  protecting  hills  stood  dumb  about  us,  and 
I  felt  in  a  new  world.  Afterwards  this  became  a  familiar 
scene,  but  that  first  impression  was  never  lost. 

The  following  year,  1872,  I  was  again  in  the  neighbour- 
hood, and  the  post-office  clerk,  now  regular  superintendent 
(and  a  very  good  one)  of  this  first  navvy  Sunday  school, 
asked  me  to  help  him  to  teach.  He  gave  me  a  fearful  class, 
the  first  one  of  boys.  What  awful,  mischievous,  wild,  original, 
lovable  boys  they  were !  At  the  end  of  three  weeks,  when 
I  was  returning  home,  my  visit  at  Lindly  Wood  having  ended, 
the  teachers  begged  me  to  return  each  Saturday  and  stay 
until  the  Monday ;  and,  to  my  gratification,  so  did  my  evil 
boys.  Mr.  Evans's  permission  was  heartily  given.  I  had 
caught  "the  Navvy  fever"  (it  has  victimized  me  ever  since, 
and  there  seems  no  chance  of  cure  this  side  the  grave,  and 
one  hopes  not  beyond)  and  was  therefore  quite  willing.  The 
prospect  opened  a  vista  of  new  interests  in  a  lonely  life.  But 
two  difficulties  arose  forthwith ;  my  relatives  were  shocked 
and  indignant.  Many  bitter  things  were  said  both  then  and 
for  years  afterwards.  It  was  "a  most  improper  proceeding." 
I  was  "too  young,"  "wished  to  be  singular,"  "would  do  no 
good,"  and,  lastly,  "  the  navvies  were  not  fit  for  any  lady  with 
right  feeling  to  go  amongst."  I  answered  that  I  would  do 
my  best  for  one  year,  and  the  result  would  show  if  I  ought 
to  go  on  or  not.  The  other  difficulty  was  that  I  had  nowhere 
to  stay.  God  opened  a  way,  when  an  old  relative  thought  he 
had  completely  blocked  it.  The  manager  fitted  up  a  cup- 
board, in  which  some  dry  clothes  were  stored,  with  a  mattress 
and  blankets,  and  for  four  years  I  slept  in  the  schoolroom 
(that  is,  when  the  rabbits  who  lived  below  the  floor  thought 
fit  to  let  me) ;  and  those  were  four  of  the  happiest  years  of 
my  life. 

We  were  treading  on  unknown  ground  in  mission-work, 
but,  though  doubtless  many  mistakes  were  made,  we  were 
"all  of  one  heart,"  and  liked  and  trusted  each  other  thoroughly ; 
and  God  was  with  us  and  poured  out  His  blessing.  We  saw 
the  whole  settlement  change.  Every  child  on  the  ground, 
and  from  twenty  to  thirty  men,  were  in  our  Sunday  school  ; 
numbers  of  men  learnt  to  read  and  write  in  Mr.  Evans's  night 
school ;  over  ninety  per  cent,  of  the  children  passed  the 

g6  Woman  s  Mission. 

Government  day-school  inspection.  Fights  were  unknown, 
and  drinking  dwindled  down  until  a  drunken  man  was  seldom 
seen.  Certainly,  after  two  years  I  gave  up  my  boys'  class  in 
despair  ;  but  two  of  the  boys  afterwards  died  with  their  hands 
in  mine,  and  went  home  "  in  sure  and  certain  hope."  Another 
is  an  excellent  clergyman,  a  fourth  a  valued  navvies'  mis- 
sionary ;  and  the  others  are  decent  and  (one  hopes)  Christian 

We  had  one  great  drawback :  we  noticed  that  men  who 
left  us  and  went  to  seek  other  work,  when  they  returned 
always  gave  one  answer  to  our  eager  inquiries,  "  Have  you 
been  to  church — to  school  ?  What  have  you  been  doing  ?  " — 
"There's  nothing  of  no  sort  for  us  chaps,  nowhere."  We 
found  they  went  away  from  us  to  be  "pariahs."  As  a  class 
they  were  dreaded  and  individually  they  were  scorned.  If 
navvies  came  into  a  district  the  clergy  spoke  of  them  as  "  an 
invasion,"  and  thanked  God  when  they  were  gone.  Good 
Christians  described  them  as  "  a  moral  pest."  Farmers  re- 
fused to  give  them  a  night's  shelter  even  in  a  barn,  or 
let  them  filthy  stables  at  rack-rents  (and  still  do).  Cottagers 
took  them  in  as  lodgers  (and  do  so  still)  and  crammed  twelve 
men  into  a  room  barely  large  enough  for  five.  Shop- 
keepers charged  (and  charge  to  this  day)  thievish  prices  if 
they  saw  a  navvy  enter  their  doors  :  for  one  ounce  of  arrowroot 
for  a  sick  man  I  have  paid  sixpence,  when  a  whole  pound 
cost  the  seller  only  tenpence.  Milk  would  be  saved  to  fatten 
pigs  and  calves  and  refused  at  any  price  to  a  navvy-child  at 
death's  door  with  fever. 

Some  contractors  treated  their  men  as  "raw  material," 
working  them  overtime  in  summer,  and  discharging  them 
when  winter  stopped  work ;  and  such  is  too  often  the  case 
now,  so  that  thousands  of  men  are  drifting  about  in  want  and 
misery  every  winter.  If  they  go  to  the  workhouse  they  are 
inadequately  fed,  and  are  often  vexatiously  detained  to  pick 
oakum.  The  consequence  is  that  they  will  rather  endure 
extreme  want  than  enter  the  workhouse  doors.  But  although 
things  are  bad  for  our  men  to-day,  twenty  years  ago  they 
were  far  worse.  No  man's  wages  in  England  are  now  paid 
in  food-tickets  on  a  contractor's  shop.  Sod  huts,  which  were 
the  usual  ones  then,  are  now  no  longer  to  be  found.  Clergy 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  97 

and  employers  act  for  the  most  part  very  differently  now, 
and  no  great  engineer  would  say,  as  one  said  to  me 
fourteen  years  ago,  "Night-schools  and  reading-rooms  are 
a  mistake ;  let  them  remain  ignorant."  "  But  they  leave 
work  at  six,  how  are  they  to  spend  their  evenings  ?  "  "  Let 
them  go  to  bed  ! "  I  could  not  help  inquiring,  "  Would  you 
like  to  go  to  bed  at  six  o'clock  ?  "  The  great  man  said  with 
a  cold  stare,  "  That's  quite  different." 

As  every  man's  hand  was  against  them,  the  hands  of 
navvies  were  against  "  natives,"  as  they  called  outsiders ;  and 
the  work  done  amongst  them  for  the  love  of  Christ  was 
a  wonder  to  them.  The  tale  of  Lindly  Wood  began 
to  be  told  on  other  works  and  was  disbelieved.  "You 
tell  us  that"  said  a  man  working  on  the  very  next  Leeds 
reservoir,  "  and  you  think  we'll  believe  it  ?  I've  been  a  navvy 
all  my  life,  and  no  parson  ever  came  among  us,  and  no 
teachers,  and  no  ladies ;  it's  a  lie."  On  another  occasion 
some  men  were  at  dinner  in  a  hut  when  one  of  their  fellows 
called  out,  "  Come  and  look !  here  are  two  converted  navvies 
from  Lindly  Wood ! "  The  men  sprang  up  and  rushed  to 
the  door.  One  of  them  told  me  this  six  months  ago,  and 
added,  "  I  didn't  know  what  one  looked  like  then,  but, 
thank  God !  I  know  what  it  is  to  be  one  now."  So  it  grew 
into  us  on  every  side  that  these  men  and  women  ought  to 
be  followed. 

Mr.  Evans,  and  we  teachers,  wrote  a  number  of  inquiries 
and  addressed  them  to  the  managers  of  all  the  works  we 
could  hear  of  from  men  on  tramp.  To  direct  these  was 
indeed  guesswork,  the  men  pronounced  the  names  so  queerly ; 
besides  which,  as  navvies  have  a  kind  of  language  of  their 
own,  and  usually  themselves  go  by  nicknames,  as  "  Curly," 
"  Punch,"  "  Glen,"  "  York,"  "  Nottingham,"  so  they  give  the 
works  catch-names — "The Long  Drag,"  "Junction,"  "Slaughter 
House,"  etc.  But  we  did  our  best  and  found  out  seventy- 
two.  In  our  inquiries  we  asked,  "  How  many  men  have  you  ? 
How  many  huts,  etc.  ?  Does  any  clergyman  or  other  minister 
visit  ?  Have  you  a  service,  Sunday  or  day  school  ?  "  and  so 
on.  "  No,"  was  the  reply  to  every  question  at  all  the  seventy- 
two  places  save  one — Blackamore,  near  Halifax,  where  the 
vicar,  the  Rev.  C.  Green,  was,  it  appeared,  working. 


98  Woman's  Mission. 

We  knew  that  special  short  efforts  had  been  made  in 
former  years  by  Dr.  Fremantle  (Bucks),  Miss  Fox  (Devon), 
Miss  Marsh  (Beckenham)  ;  but  when  these  favoured  works 
closed,  the  navvies  were  not  followed,  and  were  soon  again 
swallowed  up  in  the  prevailing  darkness.  The  outlook  was 
very  hopeless.  Mr.  Evans  was  in  a  consumption  from  over- 
work, damp,  and,  above  all,  a  loss  which  had  saddened  his 
life,  and  Lindly  Wood  was  ending.  Before  it  finally  closed 
the  men  in  my  class  asked  that  some  little  brotherhood 
might  be  established,  which  in  the  neglect  and  darkness  into 
which  they  were  again  returning  might  hold  us  together. 
They  drew  up  three  promises,  binding  themselves  to  a 
Christian  life.  This  is  the  Christian  Excavators'  Union.  It 
began  with  twenty-five  navvy  members  and  eight  others. 
We  now  number  over  six  hundred.  England  is  divided  into 
four  districts.  Ladies  are  the  head  secretaries.  Our  duty 
is  to  visit  the  stations  from  time  to  time,  and  encourage 
the  members  under  the  persecution  they  have  to  endure, 
seek  again  those  led  astray,  comfort  and  help  those  who 
are  in  trouble,  and  give  addresses  in  the  mission-rooms, 
explaining  the  object  of  the  Christian  Excavators'  Union, 
and  urging  whole-hearted  devotion  to  Christ.  This  Union 
has  become  the  heart  of  the  mission ;  from  it  the  life  blood 
flows,  and  the  prayers  of  the  Union  have  been  the  cause  of 
the  wonderful  success  God  has  given  us. 

One  night  in  the  late  autumn  of  1876,  the  water  rushed 
suddenly  into  the  great  Lindly  Reservoir.  The  huts  were 
submerged,  the  settlement  ended,  and  our  own  navvy  families 
were  scattered  to  all  corners  of  the  land.  Mr.  Evans  was 
ordered  abroad,  and  this  navvy-work  seemed  to  have  ended  as 
all  previous  efforts  had  done,  and  hopelessness  of  any  better 
future  for  them  settled  down  upon  our  hearts.  But  God  saw 
otherwise.  That  winter  a  request  came  to  me  from  the 
navvies  themselves  to  go  to  the  next  Leeds  reservoir  at 
Swinstey,  and  the  manager  backed  it  by  offering  me  a 
disused  schoolroom,  with  a  little  hut  room  to  sleep  in. 

I  was  told  it  was  three  or  four  miles  from  the  nearest 
station,  but  found  it  more  than  six  ;  and  a  fearful  walk  it  was, 
up  and  down  hills,  over  the  Yorkshire  moors,  with  snow- 
drifts sometimes  eight  feet  deep,  and  curled  over  like  waves 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  99 

at  the  top  against  the  walls  ;  but  fortunately  the  roads  were 
always  passable.  Four  hundred  men  and  many  women  and 
children  were  living  there  in  huts.  The  old  teachers  could 
not  walk  up  from  Otley,  and  we  were  too  poor  to  hire  a 
conveyance.  I  therefore  wrote  to  five  navvies  who  had 
become  changed  men  at  Lindly,  and  asked  them  to  get 
work  at  Swinstey  ;  they  did  so,  and  thus  our  Sunday  school 
was  manned  with  teachers,  and  very  good  ones  too.  Dark- 
ness had  rested  for  four  years  on  Swinstey,  and  it  had  been 
the  regular  Sunday  custom  to  have  a  fight  in  the  afternoon. 
Of  course  I  dare  not,  in  any  case,  stop  a  fight,  but  never  had 
any  need  to  try :  there  never  was  another  while  I  was  there. 
The  men  were  too  true  gentlemen  to  frighten  a  lady  who  had 
come  among  them  for  their  own  and  the  children's  sake. 

On  the  second  Sunday  our  school  numbered  all  the 
children  in  the  settlement,  and  I  had  twenty-two  men  in 
the  Bible-class  ;  and  these  numbers  kept  up  until  the  very 
end.  The  last  sight  I  had  of  my  schoolroom,  which  had 
been  filled  with  happy  faces  the  day  before,  was  on  a  Monday 
morning  when  the  roof  was  being  stripped  off.  When  next 
I  was  there  the  site  was  below  the  waters  of  the  lake  that 
navvy  hands  had  made. 

During  this  time  we  had  been  doing  what  we  could  to 
rouse  public  attention,  but  we  had  neither  money  nor 
influence,  nor  even  strength.  In  1877  Mr.  Evans,  who 
during  his  suffering  time  in  Italy  had  written  two  admirable 
articles  called  "  Navvies  and  their  Needs,"  had  them  pub- 
lished, by  the  kindness  of  the  late  Mr.  Fetter,  in  the  "  Quiver ; " 
and  Messrs.  Isbister  were  good  enough  to  print  a  little  tale 
of  mine,  founded  much  more  on  fact  than  fancy,  called 
"  Little  Rainbow."  These  raised  some  interest,  and  then  two 
kind  friends  who  saw  the  trouble  I  was  in  gave  us  £1$  to 
print  and  post  circulars.  We  got  the  names  of  clergymen  of 
all  parties  to  guarantee  the  usefulness  of  such  a  mission. 
Our  aim  was  to  establish,  not  a  mere  personal  work  which 
would  only  live  with  us,  but  one  which  should  be  on  a  firm 
basis,  and  live  after  we  were  gone ;  and  we  hoped  that  all 
parties  in  our  Church  would  be  content  to  meet  in  an  effort, 
which,  while  a  Church  one,  was  purely  missionary.  Four 
thousand  circulars  were  printed,  and  with  these  we  teachers 

ioo  Woman  s  Mission. 

wrote  four  thousand  letters.  Mr.  Evans,  dying  as  he  was  of 
consumption,  wrote  half  of  this  number.  I  posted  the  whole 
in  theEuston  Road  Office,  October,  1877,  and  well  remember 
walking  away  and  saying,  "  If  it  is  Thy  will,  prosper  this  ! 
and  if  not,  let  it  fail :  we  have  done  all  we  can."  God  did  not 
let  the  effort  fail.  In  response  £480  came  in.  The  Navvy 
Mission  was  established  in  November,  1877,  and  for  a  year  its 
founder  worked  it  as  honorary  secretary,  visiting  the  works 
and  appointing  seven  missionaries.  On  November  30, 
1878,  he  was  seized  with  inflammation,  and  on  December  n, 
heard  the  Master  say,  "Well  done,  good  and  faithful  servant!" 
Since  then  the  Navvy  Mission  has  struggled  on  ;  secretaries 
have  come  and  gone ;  our  president,  Bishop  Bickersteth, 
died  ;  of  the  original  committee  only  our  devoted  leader,  the 
Dean  of  Ripon  (Dr.  Fremantle),  is  left.  But  through  all  God 
has  blessed  us  and  supplied  our  needs,  and  therefore,  with 
one  of  the  smallest  incomes  of  any  religious  society,  we  have, 
socially,  morally,  and  spiritually,  been  able  to  do  four  times 
the  usual  amount  of  work.  We  spend  nothing  on  offices, 
clerks,  advertising,  etc.  Every  penny  given  goes  to  the  work. 
Every  large  settlement  in  England,  Scotland,  and  Wales,  has 
its  mission  and  reading-room  and  schools,  its  temperance 
societies,  and  often  much-needed  ambulance  classes.  The 
men  pass  the  "  first  aid "  examinations  remarkably  well. 
Contractors,  engineers,  gentry,  and  clergy,  are  very  generally 
interested,  and  many  give  excellent  help. 

The  old  scenes  of  brutality  are  very  nearly  things  of  the 
past.  Marriage  is  regarded,  and  the  moral  tone  of  the  men 
is  quite  different.  It  is  true  that  the  contractors  still  do  not 
put  up  adequate  accommodation  for  their  men,  and  that 
overcrowding  outside  the  works  is  too  common  ;  also  that, 
in  spite  of  precautions,  drink  is  sold  illegally  in  the  huts.  It 
is  also  true  that  were  the  mission  to  collapse,  the  whole  class 
would  drop  down  again ;  but  still  that  navvy  spoke  truly 
who  said,  "  The  Navvy  Mission  has  changed  all  our  works. 
It  has  raised  our  whole  class.  How?  Why,  it  has  taught 
people  to  respect  us,  and  it  has  taught  us  to  respect 

One  power  to  this  end  has  been  the  Quarterly  Letter  to 
Navvies,  of  which  I  am  editor.  The  men  eagerly  welcome 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  101 

it  everywhere,  both  at  home  and  abroad,  though  it  always  is 
very  plain  in  its  condemnation  of  evil.  Last  year  £72  i^s.  <\d. 
was  sent  by  navvies  in  pence,  contributed  out  of  their  small 
wages  as  a  free  gift  towards  the  expense  of  printing  it.  Of 
this  £11  was  sent  from  the  dock  works  at  Buenos  Ayres. 
The  advance  of  the  society,  so  quietly  made,  is  shown  by  this 
table : — 

In  1887  it  had—  In  1891  it  bad- 
One     Hon.     Clerical    Secretary  (the      Two  Clerical  Secretaries. 


Seven  Stations.  39  Stations. 

Seven  Missionaries.  39  Missionaries. 

20,000    Quarterly    Letters    were  dis-       121,943  Quarterly  Letters. 

tributed.  Given  in  pence  towards  the  cost  by 

Navvies,  voluntarily,  ^72  14^.  id. 
35  Members  of  Christian  Excavators'      658  Members  C.E.U. 


One  District  Hon.  Secretary.  Eight  District  Hon.  Secretaries  C.E.U. 
Four  Christmas  Trees  or  Treats.  29  Christmas  Treats. 
No  Libraries.  38  Libraries. 
No  Temperance  Pledges.  u>893  Pledges. 
No  Rooms  of  its  own.  Five  Rooms  of  its  own. 
No  Missions.  Four  Special  Missions. 
No  Nurse  or  Hospital.  One  Nurse  and  one  Hospital. 
No  Insurance  of  Missionaries.  Insurance  of  Missionaries  and  Mission- 
No  Missionaries'  Pension  Fund.  aries'  Pension  Fund  just  begun. 

Our  annual  income  from  general  sources  is  now  about 
£2300,  assisted  by  as  much  more  raised  locally.  On  this  we 
support  two  secretaries,  who  are,  in  fact,  clerical  missionaries 
as  well  as  organizers,  a  trained  nurse,  and  thirty-nine  mis- 
sionaries. We  have  thirty-six  circulating  libraries,  and 
supply  books,  etc.,  to  forty  stations.  More  with  our  present 
income  it  is  impossible  to  do,  and  yet  we  ought  to  more  than 
double  our  efforts. 

We  require  particularly  gifted  missionaries.  They  must 
be  strong  in  body,  mind,  and  faith  ;  such  men  are  difficult 
to  find.  When  we  have  found  and  trained  them,  other 
societies  and  private  clergymen  frequently  draw  them  away 
from  us.  For  though  their  lives  are  hard,  constantly  walking, 
and  often  wet  through,  employed  every  day  till  late  at  night 
out  of  doors  and  in  the  night  schools,  we  can  only  pay  them 
small  wages,  and  can  offer  them  no  future  pension,  though  it 
is  impossible  for  them  to  save.  The  whole  success  of  our 

IO2  Woman's  Mission. 

work  (under  God)  depends  on  these  men's  devotion,  and  yet, 
when  worn  out,  they  have  only  the  workhouse  before  them. 
Is  it  right  after  thirty  years  of  such  noble  service  they  should 
lie  down  to  die  on  a  pauper's  bed  ?  Five  thousand  pounds 
invested  would  yield  an  interest  sufficient  for  a  modest 
Pension  Fund. 

In  1878  I  received  a  letter  from  Mrs.  Hunter,  of  Hun- 
stanton  on  the  Clyde,  stating  that  a  large  number  of  navvies 
were  in  her  neighbourhood,  constructing  the  Fairlie  and 
West  Kilbride  line ;  and  that  she  felt  so  grieved  to  see 
them  standing  about  in  the  rain  when  stopped  from  work 
that  she  would  like  my  opinion  how  best  to  help  them. 
Her  difficulty  was  that  they  were  of  three  nationalities, 
and  three  faiths.  The  four  hundred  men  were  made  up  of 
Irishmen,  Gaelic-speaking  Highlanders,  Scotch  Lowlanders, 
and  there  were  Roman  Catholics,  Presbyterians,  and  Free 
Churchmen.  The  outcome  was  that  she  erected  a  beautiful 
shelter  or  reading-room,  but  would  lend  it  to  none  of  the 
different  sects  for  Sunday  services.  On  the  Sabbath  it  was 
kept  open,  and  supplied  with  Gaelic  and  English  Bibles 
and  tracts  instead  of  the  everyday  newspapers.  It  became 
a  great  success,  and  at  the  end  of  the  year  Mrs.  Hunter 
built  another  room  alongside  the  shelter,  and  in  this  were 
held  Protestant  services,  Bible-classes,  and  an  adult  night- 
school,  which  were  well  attended.  Her  charming  manner 
and  warm  unselfish  sympathy  touched  the  men's  hearts, 
and  she  did  immense  good.  A  post-office  savings  bank 
was  opened,  and  through  her  personal  influence  over  £400 
was  invested  in  fifteen  months.  When  we  in  England 
tried  to  do  the  same  at  four  of  our  works  the  next  year,  the 
post-office  official  sent  up  on  pay-days  could  .not  get  any 
deposits,  and  after  four  months  we  had  to  give  up  the 
attempt.  The  State  was  an  idea,  Mrs.  Hunter  a  reality  to 
the  navvies  :  they  trusted  the  one  and  not  the  other ! 

Mrs.  Hunter  also  changed  the  whole  aspect  of  the 
Greenock  Docks  (then  in  course  of  construction)  by  a  very 
simple  but  wise  move.  The  only  decent  men  I  saw  there 
were  two  English  gangers.  The  rank  and  file  of  the  work- 
men we  should  not  have  deemed  worthy  of  the  name  of 
navvies,  though  they  claimed  it.  They  were  dirty,  ragged, 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  103 

wretched  creatures,  who  existed  on  potatoes,  slept  in  boats 
and  doorways,  and  spent  every  penny  they  could  get  on 
whisky,  of  which  there  were  three  kinds — "  Over-the-wall," 
"  Fighting-stuff,"  and  "  Sudden  death."  The  last  was  "  over- 
proof"  spirits  of  wine  flavoured  like  whisky.  Mrs.  Hunter 
erected  a  hut  and  let  it  to  a  provision  caterer  rent  free. 
Basins  of  porridge  at  a  halfpenny  each  were  supplied  at  five 
o'clock  in  the  morning ;  bit  by  bit  the  cheap  menu  was 
enlarged,  hot  meals  three  times  a  day  were  served,  and  beat 
the  whisky  and  potatoes.  A  free  reading-room  was  opened, 
and  the  reward  of  two  months'  attendance  was  a  linen  jacket. 
The  second  visit  I  made  there  taught  me  what  one  woman 
can  do  who  puts  her  head  as  well  as  her  heart  into  God's  work. 

For  more  than  three  years  Mrs.  Hunter  worked  at  the 
Fairlie  line,  and  also  endeavoured  to  establish  a  Navvy 
Mission  for  Scotland.  There  the  difficulty  was  not,  as  it  is 
with  us,  money,  for  the  Church  of  Scotland  has  a  Home 
Mission  Fund  sufficient  to  meet  all  such  needs  ;  but  to  get 
any  help  from  this  fund  the  local  clergy  in  their  Presbytery 
have  to  agree  and  send  a  petition  for  help  to  the  General 
Assembly.  The  local  Presbytery  can  send  back  the  petition 
of  any  single  clergyman  for  reconsideration  or  alteration  ; 
the  General  Assembly  can  do  the  same  to  the  local  Presby- 
tery. The  consequence  is,  a  petition  for  aid  may  be  one  or 
half  a  dozen  years  under  consideration  before  any  definite 
action  is  taken !  In  fact,  for  four  years  this  was  the  case  at 
Fairlie ;  and  during  the  whole  time  the  navvies  were  there 
Mrs.  Hunter  had  to  find  the  funds  for  her  temporal  and 
spiritual  mission  work.  She  sent  printed  appeals  on  behalf 
of  the  navvies  to  every  minister  attending  the  General 
Assembly,  and  to  the  nobleman,  a  personal  friend  of  her  own, 
who  was  the  Convener,  but  with  no  result.  Then  I  saw,  for  her, 
every  leading  minister  in  Glasgow  and  Edinburgh.  All  were 
most  delightfully  kind  and  willing  to  help,  but  all  equally 
rigid  to  "  gang  no  gait  but  their  ain,"  and  at  their  own  pace, 
too !  In  vain  we  urged  that  while  they  were  considering,  the 
navvies  were  living  heathen  lives  of  neglect  and  sin,  and  that 
promptitude  was  the  soul  of  success,  or  the  opportunity 
would  be  past. 

Mrs.  Hunter,  worn  out  by  domestic  trouble  and  broken 

IO4  Womaris  Mission. 

in  health,  was  obliged  to  give  up  the  attempt,  and  our 
English  Navvy  Mission  had  to  send  a  missionary  to  the 
Edinburgh  Waterworks.  This  was  done  at  the  request  of 
Miss  Campbell,  sister  of  Sir  Archibald  Campbell  of  Succoth. 
It  was  at  a  very  small  drawing-room  meeting  in  1883,  which 
he  was  kind  enough  to  attend  because  I  was  his  mother's 
guest,  that  Sir  Archibald  became  interested  in  the  work. 
He  shortly  afterwards  wrote  to  our  committee  offering  to 
try  to  get  an  undenominational  Navvy  Mission  started  for 
Scotland.  We  thankfully  endowed  the  new  work  with  all 
our  Scotch  subscriptions,  and  most  ably  the  Scotch  Navvy 
Mission  is  working.  It  has  five  missionaries  under  an  able 
superintending  missionary,  and  thus  assists  in  other  mission 
work  on  twelve  public  works  in  Scotland.  With  the  slow 
strong  enthusiasm  of  its  nationality,  the  Scotch  Navvy  Mission 
is  quietly  pushing  forward  and  holding  every  inch  it  gains. 

Mrs.  Hunter  has  passed  to  her  rest.  How  earnestly 
would  I  entreat  any  ladies,  English,  foreign,  or  American, 
to  follow  her  example,  and  show  practical  sympathy  to  those 
who  need  it  so  much.  Wherever  navvies  are  at  work  ladies 
are  needed.  It  doubles  a  missionary's  usefulness  where  he 
has  the  assistance  of  a  lady  in  the  Sunday  and  night  schools, 
mothers'  meetings,  boys',  girls',  adult,  and  ambulance  classes, 
and  to  play  and  sing,  to  visit  the  homes,  etc.,  on  the  works 
during  the  breakfast  or  the  dinner  hour.  In  the  mission- 
room  or  the  huts  the  lady  will  meet  with  a  hearty  welcome, 
and  each  of  us  who  is  engaged  in  this  work  finds  it  most 
interesting.  Renewed  lives,  brightened  homes,  sad  hearts 
cheered,  men,  women,  and  children  saved  here  and  hereafter, 
are  the  rewards  we  reap.  Nowhere  are  ladies  needed  more, 
for  nowhere  have  women  more  need  of  help. 

Our  navvy  women  wander  from  place  to  place  and 
have  no  claims  even  on  the  parish  workhouse  for  mainte- 
nance when  left  widows,  or  if  deserted  by  bad  husbands.  I 
shall  never  forget  one  such  case,  where  a  young  married 
woman  was  twice  purposely  deserted  to  drive  her  into  sin ; 
and  finally  she  died  from  want  rather  than  enter  the  life  of 
shame  her  husband  had  tried  to  force  her  into,  that  he  might 
be  free.  The  thin  piteous  face  of  that  young  woman  rises 
before  me  as  she  showed  me  a  hard  cold  note  the  man  had 

The  Navvy  Mission  Society.  105 

written  her,  informing  her  he  was  coming  back — as  the  event 
turned  out,  to  strip  her  of  her  last  sixpence.  She  pointed 
with  a  smile  of  triumph  to  the  signature,  "  Your  affectionate 
Husband."  "  See  there  ! "  she  said,  with  pathetic  trust.  Yes, 
ladies  are  indeed  needed  to  bring  sympathy  to  sad  hearts  and 
hope  to  fainting  ones. 

After  the  English,  the  navvies  of  the  world  are  Italians 
and  Scandinavians.  Italians  do  most  of  the  foreign  works. 
The  number  of  lives  the  Mont  Cenis  and  St.  Gothard 
Tunnels  cost  can  never  be  told.  During  a  visit  in  1892  to 
Rome  I  had  the  pleasure  of  meeting  Dr.  Grey,  of  the  Scotch 
Church.  In  vain  I  had  tried  to  interest  English  ladies  in 
Rome,  and  others,  in  the  Italian  navvies.  Dr.  Grey  came 
forward,  and  as  head  of  the  Scotch  Bible  Society's  Auxiliary 
there,  he  sent  among  them  this  summer  two  colporteurs,  who 
have  sold  many  Italian  Bibles  and  have  preached  the  Gospel 
to  their  fellow  navvy  countrymen  on  both  sides  of  the  Alps  ; 
and  this,  we  trust,  is  the  commencement  of  an  Italian  Navvy 
Mission.  The  tales  we  hear  of  their  present  condition  are 
terrible.  A  mission  to  them  is  second  only  in  importance  to 
our  own,  as  English  gangers  and  engine-drivers  are  the 
leaders  on  foreign  works,  while  the  rank  and  file  of  the 
navvies  are  largely  composed  of  Italians,  and  in  America 
of  Norwegians. 

io6  Woman's  Mission, 


BY  Miss  MARSH. 

EARLY  in  1853,  large  numbers  of  "navvies"  were  gathered 
from  all  parts  of  the  kingdom  to  work  on  the  grounds 
of  the  Crystal  Palace,  which  had  just  been  erected  at  Syden- 
ham.  The  men  were  lodged  in  every  available  room  in  the 
neighbourhood,  and  over  two  hundred  were  crowded  into  the 
cottages  at  Beckenham.  This  inroad  of  strangers  was  justly 
dreaded  by  the  steady  parishioners,  for  these  men  with  truth 
called  themselves  "  a  rough  lot,"  and  a  navvy  was  looked 
upon  as  an  Ishmaelite,  "his  hand  against  every  man,  and 
every  man's  hand  against  him."  Beckenham  Rectory  was 
then  my  happy  home,  and  whilst  visiting  in  the  parish  we 
soon  heard  of  the  new  arrivals,  and  on  Sunday,  March  I3th, 
I  first  set  out  to  seek  them.  It  was  in  the  evening  that  I 
went  to  a  cottage  where  three  or  four  navvies  were  lodged, 
and  asked  for  one  of  the  family,  by  way  of  an  easy  introduc- 
tion to  the  strangers. 

I  asked  if  they  had  been  at  church ;  but  not  one  had 
thought  of  it.  A  few  more  visits  to  the  cottages  where  the 
navvies  lodged,  brought  many  volunteers  for  the  Bible  classes 
which  I  began  for  them.  Testaments  in  purple  binding, 
small  enough  for  the  waistcoat  pocket,  were  offered  to  all, 
and  were  eagerly  accepted  and  much  prized,  though  now  and 
then  the  expressions  of  pleasure  were  somewhat  quaint,  such 
as,  "  Now,  ain't  it  a  rare  beauty !  I'll  cover  it  with  a  slice 
off  my  best  red  choker." 

Before  long  many  of  the  men  were  willing  to  attend  the 
evening  service  in  the  schoolroom,  and  when,  on  leaving  home 

My  Work  among  Navvies  at  Beckenham.     107 

for  a  short  time,  I  wrote  to  several  of  them  to  come  to  the 
Sunday  services  in  church,  upwards  of  thirty  responded  to 
the  appeal  on  the  next  Sunday  morning,  filling  the  middle 
aisle,  in  their  clean  stiff  white  "  slops." 

On  the  following  Thursday  evening  a  missionary  meeting 
was  held  in  the  schoolroom,  there  being  more  than  forty 

present.     A  few  days  later,  I  met  John  H ,  with  a  noisy 

party  of  young  men.  On  the  next  Thursday  evening,  when 
I  spoke  to  him,  whilst  the  schoolroom  bell  was  ringing  for 
the  lecture,  he  looked  much  ashamed,  and  said  in  a  low  tone, 
"  You  ain't  agoing  to  ask  me  to  come  to  the  lecture  after  the 
way  you  heard  me  shouting  the  other  evening  ?  I  had  been 
to  the  public."  "  I  was  sure  of  it.  But  still  I  want  you  to- 
come  this  evening."  "  No,  never  again."  "  Why  not  ?  " 
"  Because  it  don't  do  to  live  two  lives."  "  I  know  it,  John  ; 
and  that's  the  reason  I  want  you  to  come  to-night,  and  to 
begin  all  over  again."  "  I'll  come,  then.  And  I'll  bring 
six  ! "  True  to  his  word,  he  came  marshalling  six  comrades 
with  a  leader's  pride.  From  that  time  he  regularly  attended 
the  services  and  readings. 

Soon  we  planned  a  tea-party  for  our  new  friends  whose 
wandering  life  cut  them  off  from  innocent  enjoyments.  The 
schoolroom  was  decorated  with  flowers,  and  "  button-holes  "  of 
geranium  and  jessamine,  tied  with  blue  ribbon,  were  laid  upon 
the  plates.  The  guests  arrived,  each  one  looking  as  clean  as 
a  baby  on  its  christening  day,  with  their  white  "  slops  "  newly 
washed,  and  their  hands  and  faces  scrubbed  till  they  shone 
again.  There  was  no  confusion  or  loud  talking,  and  not  a 
word  was  spoken  that  we  could  have  wished  unsaid,  while 
the  frank  and  hearty  enjoyment  was  delightful  to  see. 

Throughout  the  rest  of  the  year  the  navvies'  attendance 
at  church  was  excellent,  and  the  cottages  where  Bible  readings 
were  held  were  thronged.  Five  of  the  navvies  were  pre- 
sented for  Confirmation  to  the  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
who  specially  remarked  afterwards  on  their  devout  demeanour 
as  they  knelt  together  to  receive  the  rite. 

On  the  last  day  of  1853  the  sergeant  at  the  police-station 
at  Beckenham  called  to  return  thanks  for  the  interest  that 
had  been  taken  in  the  men.  He  said  that  his  duty  had 
never  been  so  easy  before  in  Beckenham,  for  the  example  of 

io8  Woman  s  Mission. 

the  navvies  had  restrained  the  wilder  young  men  of  the 

Scarcely  had  the  last  of  the  Crystal  Palace  workmen  left 
Beckenham,  when  a  new  interest  sprang  up  in  the  gathering 
of  the  Army  Works  Corps,  which  from  first  to  last  numbered 
nearly  four  thousand  men,  to  be  employed  in  manual  work 
in  the  Crimea. 

The  office  where  they  were  engaged  was  in  the  Crystal 
Palace  grounds,  and  from  July  to  December,  1855,  large 
numbers  of  men  were  constantly  waiting  there.  The  first 
detachment  consisted  of  railway  navvies,  whose  muscle  and 
sinew  constituted  their  recommendation,  and  whose  working 
power  therefore  stood  for  their  morals.  Though  they  were 
described  as  "  the  roughest  lot  that  ever  came  to  Beckenham," 
we  found  them  no  less  responsive  to  kindly  sympathy  than 
our  first  friends  had  been.  It  was  not  long  before  they  came 
to  church,  and  flocked  to  the  cottage  readings.  After  one 
of  these  meetings,  a  man  said  to  me,  "  I  wish  the  whole  lot 
could  hear  these  things.  We're  all  together  outside  the 
Crystal  Palace  at  seven  of  a  morning  ;  and  the  paymaster 
says  we're  the  finest  lot  he  ever  saw,  and  the  wildest — just 
like  four  hundred  roaring  lions." 

The  hint  was  taken,  and  the  next  morning  we  drove  to 
the  ground,  where  we  found  about  fifty  men  assembled.  We 
sent  the  carriage  away  for  a  time,  and  occupied  ourselves  at 
first  in  distributing  little  books  and  cards  of  prayers.  Con- 
versation easily  followed  ;  and  by  the  time  the  remainder  of 
the  four  hundred  began  to  make  their  appearance,  the  first 
fifty  had  become  our  firm  friends.  Not  one  uncivil  word 
was  said  ;  not  one  hand  unwillingly  received  the  prayers. 
As  the  men  gathered  round  in  increasing  numbers,  I  was 
struck  with  the  earnestness  of  their  countenances.  And  here, 
I  may  add,  that  in  all  my  acquaintance  with  working  men, 
never  have  they  let  me  hear  a  single  oath,  or  one  expression 
which  could  in  the  remotest  degree  shock  or  pain  me.  After 
this  we  drove  each  morning  to  meet  the  men  when  they 
mustered  for  their  roll-call. 

On  the  1 8th  of  June  a  report  reached  us  that  the  men 
were  to  embark  the  next  day.  We  drove  to  the  Crystal 
Palace  grounds  by  eight  in  the  morning  to  take  leave  of 

My  Work  among  Navvies  at  Beckenham.     109 

them,  and  to  give  Testaments,  etc.,  to  all  who  had  not  yet 
received  them.  They  were  all  grave  and  grateful ;  and  many 
expressed  thankfulness  to  God  for  having  led  them  to  this 
neighbourhood.  I  had  offered  to  take  charge  of  any  portion 
of  their  large  wages  which  they  chose  to  empower  me  to 
receive  for  them  during  their  engagement  in  the  Crimea,  to 
deposit  the  money  in  the  savings  bank,  in  the  form  of  a 
friendly  club,  and  to  keep  a  private  account  for  each  man.  A 
large  number  of  men  gladly  accepted  this  proposition,  and  we 
received  on  an  average  about  £500  a  month.  An  account 
was  kept  for  each  man,  and  the  money  was  either  placed  in 
the  savings  bank,  or  sent  to  his  family.  Many  of  the  men 
requested  us  to  forward  to  needy  relatives  a  portion  of  the 
money  thus  saved,  which  varied  from  ten  shillings  to  a  pound 
weekly.  Strangers,  as  the  majority  of  those  who  daily  arrived 
to  swell  the  ranks  necessarily  were  to  us,  and  the  rest  only 
friends  of  a  few  weeks'  standing,  I  thought  it  but  right  to 
give  a  stamped  receipt  to  each  man  for  the  money-order 
which  had  been  drawn  out  in  my  name,  and  carried  these 
receipts  to  the  Crystal  Palace  grounds  on  the  afternoon  of 
the  1 8th.  It  must  have  been  a  noble  trustfulness  in  those 
manly  natures  which  made  them  by  common  consent  fling 
back  the  receipts  into  the  carriage  with  something  like  a 
shout  of  disdain  at  the  supposition  that  they  could  possibly 
require  such  a  pledge  of  honesty  from  a  friend  and  a  lady. 

On  the  back  of  those  money-orders  we  wrote  their 
"  wills,"  the  disposition  of  the  property  thus  entrusted  to  us, 
in  case  they  should  not  be  spared  to  return.  This  afforded 
us  an  opportunity  of  quiet  conversation  and  prayer  with  each 
man,  as  they  visited  the  rectory  at  all  hours  on  their  pecuniary 
matters.  At  length  the  order  of  embarkation  came,  and  on 
June  27th  we  went  to  bid  them  farewell  at  Greenhithe. 

On  the  8th  of  May,  1856,  the  Cleopatra  anchored  off  Ports- 
mouth, and  six  hundred  men  of  the  Army  Works  Corps,  with 
exuberant  joy,  stood  again  on  English  ground.  From  that 
time  until  the  last  detachment  landed  from  the  Crimea,  we 
kept  open  house  for  their  visits.  They  came,  usually  in  com- 
panies of  from  three  to  a  dozen  in  number.  It  was  pleasant 
to  hear  their  short,  strong  statements  of  not  having  forgotten 
us  in  the  Crimea.  "  Once  we  heard  as  you  was  dead,  and 

1 1  o  Woman  s  Mission. 

nigh  two  thousand  of  us  ran  together  and  prayed  God  it 
wasn't  true  ! "  And  again :  "  Whenever  any  more  corned  over, 
we  said  first  thing,  '  Been  to  Beckenham,  mates  ?  How  was 

they  ?  ' '  One  instance  may  serve  as  a  type.  Henry  B 

told  us  of  the  death  of  his  mate,  William  Hawkesworth.  "  He 
never  was  the  same  man  after  he  came  to  Beckenham  lawn 
for  the  breakfast  and  prayer ;  never  swore,  took  to  his  Bible, 
and  seemed  quiet  and  happy.  We  used  to  sing  our  hymns 
together.  He  never  fell  off  out  of  that  way,  but  went  straight 
-on,  till  the  day  he  was  blowed  up  by  gunpowder — and  I 
believe  he  went  straight  up  to  heaven." 

Henry  was  gravely  glad  to  see  the  large  sum  of  money  to 
which  his  savings  had  amounted,  and  then  inquired,  "  Pray, 
ma'am,  what  do  I  owe  you  ?  " 

"  Nothing." — "  Oh  yes,  ma'am,  if  you  please.  I  should 
like  to  pay  something  handsome  for  the  trouble.  It's  but 

"  Not  fair  to  us,"  I  replied.  "  It  would  spoil  our  pleasure 
in  having  done  it  for  friendship." — "Well,  anyhow,  you'll  put 
something  to  getting  Bibles  for  them  that  has  none." 

If  any  hearts  have  been  warmed  towards  their  working 
brothers  whilst  listening  to  these  brief  records,  let  not  the 
generous  fire  die  out  with  the  close  of  this  paper.  Meet  them 
with  sympathy ;  try  to  secure  to  them  their  Sabbaths  ;  hold 
forth  to  them  the  Word  of  Life.  God  forbid  that  you  should 
shut  up  in  your  own  hearts  the  message  of  life  and  peace, 
.instead  of  giving  it  to  every  one  within  reach. 

1 1 1 



IN  speaking  of  the  religious  and  philanthropic  work  done  by 
women  in  England  it  is  extremely  difficult,  nay  impossible, 
to  speak  exclusively  of  what  would  be  recognized  as  clearly 
and  distinctly  Church  Work,  because  the  Church  of  England 
is  wise  enough  to  shelter  under  her  aegis  all  the  good  that  is 
being  done  by  her  children,  even  when  working. in  conjunction 
with  other  religious  bodies ;  and  to  limit  our  survey  to  what 
is  carried  on  solely  on  Church  lines,  would  be  to  give  but 
a  very  imperfect  representation  of  what  that  great  body  of 
English  men  and  women,  who  form  the  Church,  are  doing 
in  her  service. 

It  must,  then,  be  understood  that  the  work  dealt  with  is 
work  done  by  members  of  the  Church  of  England  rather 
than  work  necessarily  for  the  Church  itself.  It  may  be 
religious  as  well  as  philanthropic,  but  much  which  is  purely 
philanthropic  in  character  nevertheless  owes  its  inspiration 
and  success  to  Church  members,  and  as  such  may  be 
claimed  as  the  fruit  of  Church  life  amongst  us.  'It  is  not 
suggested  that  all  philanthropic  work  must  be  Church  work, 
nor  indeed  distinctly  religious  work,  i.e.  not  linked  on  to  any 
special  form  of  religion  ;  but  at  the  same  time  it  is  well  to 
recognize  that  where  philanthropic  work  of  any  kind  can  be 
affiliated  to  existing  organizations,  it  is  a  distinct  and  positive 
source  of  strength  to  both.  The  religious  body  gains  the 
opportunity  of  commending  its  principles  by  showing  that 
its  sympathies  and  aims  are  wide  enough  to  embrace  the 

H2  Woman's  Mission. 

bodies  as  well  as  the  souls  of  men ;  and  the  philanthropic 
work  gains  by  the  help  afforded  by  an  organization  already 
complete  and  already  at  work.  And  this  gain  is  not  a  slight 
one.  In  these  days,  when  kindly  hearts  are  so  readily  stirred 
and  eager  hands  so  swiftly  held  out  to  help,  it  becomes 
a  danger  lest,  in  the  multiplicity  of  agencies  for  good,  the 
good  itself  may  slip  out  of  sight,  or  be  so  overlaid  with 
the  red-tape  of  committees  and  officialism,  that  its  infant  life 
is  smothered  and  its  power  of  growth  destroyed. 

Viewed  in  this  broader  light,  the  work  of  English  Church- 
women  is  almost  limitless  ;  for  as  each  need  arises  the 
Church  sets  herself  to  minister  to  it,  her  perfect  organization 
enabling  her  to  do  this  more  thoroughly,  and  with  less 
expenditure  of  energy  and  material,  than  would  be  the  case 
with  a  smaller  body. 

An  idea  of  the  magnitude  of  women's  work  may  be  con- 
veyed in  various  ways  :  it  may  be  conveyed  by  statistics  of 
the  number  of  workers,  or  of  the  members  enrolled  by  them 
in  the  different  agencies  for  good,  or  of  the  large  area  over 
which  their  work  is  spread,  or  it  may  be  conveyed  by  noting 
how  their  work  touches  every  department  of  life.  Statistics 
are  often  misleading,  difficult  to  obtain,  generally  dry,  and 
not  always  easy  to  grasp  ;  they  would,  moreover,  convey  but 
a  very  imperfect  idea  of  what  is  being  achieved  by  women  in 
England,  since  much,  indeed  most  of  their  work,  is  quiet 
unrecorded  work,  known  only  to  those  amongst  whom  they 
live.  This  is  specially  true  of  religious  work,  most  of  which 
is  parochial,  and  not  known  beyond  the  limits  of  the  parish  ; 
so  that  the  extent  and  completeness  of  women's  philanthropic 
and  religious  work  will  best  be  realized  if  we  look  at  it  from 
the  standpoint  of  the  nation's  needs,  and  mark  how  in  every 
instance  where  a  need  has  been  felt,  woman  has  stepped 
forward  to  supply  it.  Philanthropic  and  religious  work  can 
scarcely,  then,  be  divided  ;  for  wherever  social  evils  or  suffer- 
ings exist,  religion  finds  her  part  also,  not  only  as  an 
inspiring  motive,  but,  in  the  case  of  the  Church  of  England, 
as  a  means  of  organization  in  accepting  and  affiliating 
women's  work. 

It  becomes,  therefore,  necessary  to  understand  a  little  of 
the  Church's  organization  before  we  can  realize  the  amount 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          113 

and  value  of  women's  work  done  in  connection  with  her.     For 
completeness  of    organization  there  is  no  body  which  can 
equal  the  Church  of  England.     From  end  to  end  the  land  is 
covered  by  her  protecting  hand  ;   not  a  corner  of  it,  not  a 
field  but  is  assigned  to  the  charge  of  one  of  her  sons  and 
servants.     The   largest  divisions   are  those  of  the  dioceses, 
some  thirty-four  in  number.     These  are  subdivided  into  arch- 
deaconries, two  or  more  in  each,  and  these  again  into  more 
numerous  and  smaller  divisions,  known  as  rural  deaneries. 
Lastly,  the   rural   deaneries   are  cut   up   into   parishes.     In 
charge  of  every  parish  is  the  vicar,  with  one  or  more  clergy 
under  him,  and  numbers  of  lay  workers,  volunteers  willing  to 
devote  themselves  and  their  leisure  to  work  in  God's  vine- 
yard ;  and  it  is  of  these  that  this  paper  would  specially  speak, 
for  our  sex  may  well  be  proud  and  thankful  to  recognize  how 
large  a  proportion  of  these  lay  workers  are  found   among 
the  women  of  England.     It  must  not  be  concluded  that  men 
do  not  take  their  share  too  ;  they  do,  but  of  them  it  is  not  our 
province  now  to  speak.     Neither  is  it  to  be  expected  that  they 
could  devote  so  much  time  to  these  objects  as  can  women, 
who  are  without  their  special  responsibilities  as  bread-winners. 
Women  have  always  been  recognized  as  good  workers  ;  they 
are  patient,  thorough,  and  persistent,  and  consequently  seldom 
fail  to  make  a  success  of  what  they  undertake.     At  the  same 
time,    it    must    be   recognized   that    their    incorporation   as 
workers  into  the  Church  system    gives  them   strength  just 
where  they  most  need   it.      It  has  been  said   that  women 
cannot  organize ;    there  are  instances  to  the  contrary,  but, 
without  unduly  depreciating  the  sex,  it  may  be  frankly  ad- 
mitted that  their  education  and  training  has  not  hitherto 
been  such  as  to  fit  them  specially  for  concerted  action.     Con- 
sequently, the  fact  that  women's  work  is  so  largely  accepted 
and  organized  by  the  Church  of  England  is  to  them  a  clear 
source  of  strength,  and  to  the  Church  itself  it  is  a  gain  ;   for 
without  their  aid  she  could  not  undertake  one-half  the  work 
she  now  achieves,  nor  further  the  many  philanthropic,  social, 
and  educational  causes,  which  claim  her  sympathy  and  support. 
Before  indicating  the  many  channels  through  which  such 
help  is   afforded  by  women,  it  will  be  well   to  show  more 
particularly  the  way   in   which   the   Church's    organization, 


H4  Woman  s  Mission. 

already  slightly  sketched,  may  assist   in  the  furtherance  of 
this  work. 

It  has  been  said  that  every  inch  of  English  soil  is  under 
the  Church's  care.  Now,  one  great  danger  exists  in  all 
philanthropic  work  ; — the  danger  of  overlapping,  the  danger 
of  having  two  agencies  doing  the  work  of  one.  This  is 
obviated  by  the  parochial  system ;  for  the  clergyman  in 
charge  of  the  parish  should  know,  and  mostly  does  know, 
what  work  requires  to  be  done  and  who  is  doing  it,  and  has 
the  opportunity  of  guiding  or  repressing  the  introduction  of 
new  agencies. 

It  often  happens  that  the  needs  of  a  particular  parish  are 
too  small,  or  the  possibility  of  support  too  limited,  to  make 
it  wise  to  start  a  particular  society  or  good  work  in  it,  but  the 
neighbouring  country  town,  maybe,  has  a  branch  which  will 
serve  throughout  the  rural  deanery.  All  that  is  then  needed 
is  for  the  clergyman  in  each  parish  to  appoint  one  parishioner 
as  secretary  for  that  particular  class  of  work  ;  her  duty  being 
to  watch  for  cases  which  can  be  benefited  by  it,  and,  in 
return,  to  gather  up  funds  for  its  support.  One  central 
committee  can  thus  carry  on  all  the  work  for  the  ten  or 
twelve  parishes  forming  the  rural  deanery,  with  an  agent 
known  as  parochial  secretary  in  each  parish.  Surely  this 
is  wiser  than  several  struggling  societies  throughout  the  dis- 
trict; each  with  its  committee  and  secretary  wasting  time 
and  energy  in  meetings  where  there  is  not  work  enough  to 
justify  their  existence  ? 

There  is  also  another  gain.  Certain  societies  may  be 
looked  upon  as  almost  rivals  of  one  another,  so  slight  are 
their  differences.  Each  has  been  started  from  the  best  of 
motives,  and  each  has  some  special  feature  to  commend  it ; 
but  in  the  eyes  of  those  we  seek  to  benefit,  or  from  whom  we 
expect  support,  the  chief  impression  is  one  of  rivalry.  This 
is  not  good.  For  the  sake  of  harmony  and  peace,  it  is  better 
to  sink  one's  own  individual  predilections  in  the  thought 
of  the  work  to  be  done,  even  if  it  is  not  done  in  our  own 
particular  way  ;  and  towards  this,  loyalty  to  our  Church  and 
its  officers  is  a  constraining  motive.  The  clergyman  of  the 
parish  is  consulted  as  to  the  societies  which  shall  take 
root  in  his  ground,  he  is  usually  a  member  of  the  com- 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          115 

mittee,  and  it  is  known  that  the  work  has  his  sanction  and 

The  slightest  experience  of  the  difficulties  resultant  from 
a  contrary  state  of  affairs  would  be  quite  sufficient  to  impress 
upon  any  one  the  advantages  of  having  a  united  feeling  as  to 
the  work  to  be  undertaken.  A  union  of  forces  means  strength, 
while  division  too  often  results  in  failure. 

And  this  need  not  be  thought  an  intolerant  position  for 
the  Church  to  assume,  for  the  support  given  to  one  society 
docs  not  necessarily  mean  antagonism  to  the  other.  Far 
from  it.  The  Church's  attitude  is  always  liberal,  and  both 
claimants  can  have,  her  sanction,  though  one  may  be  worked 
as  a  central  branch,  receiving  support  from  neighbouring 
districts  ;  whilst  the  other,  as  has  been  pointed  out,  may  be 
only  represented  in  that  particular  parish  by  a  parochial 
secretary,  who  gathers  up  the  gleanings  to  pass  them  on  to  a 
branch  elsewhere.  In  this  way  the  whole  ground  is  covered, 
now  by  one  society,  and  now  by  another ;  whilst  even  those 
who  cannot  throw  themselves  into  the  movement  which  is 
strongest  in  their  own  special  parish,  are  by  this  method  of 
organization  given  the  opportunity  of  helping  where  they 
more  entirely  sympathize,  and  so  are  incorporated  in  the 
work  of  the  rural  deanery.  Take  as  illustrations  the  great 
missionary  societies,  the  Church  Missionary  Society  and  the 
Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel.  These  are  to  be 
found  in  every  diocese  in  the  kingdom,  but  one  parish  sup- 
ports the  Church  Missionary  Society,  and  another  the  Society 
for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel  ;  and  yet  no  one  is  coerced, 
for,  in  the  Church  Missionary  Society  parish  for  example, 
those  who  prefer  the  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the 
Gospel  have  the  opportunity  of  supporting  it  through  the 
parochial  secretary,  who  forwards  their  contributions  of 
money  or  work  to  the  ruri-decanal  secretary,  by  whom  it 
is  added  to  that  received  from  the  other  more  distinctly 
S.P.G.  parishes  in  the  rural  deanery  over  which  she  presides, 
and  passed  on  to  the  central  office  of  the  society.  Other 
religious  bodies  organize  in  other  ways  by  means  of  associa- 
tions, committees,  and  so  forth,  and  great  and  valuable  work 
is  done  by  them ;  but  inasmuch  as  their  organization  is 
not  territorial,  there  is  not  the  same  security  that  the  whole 

1 1 6  Womaris  Mission. 

ground  will  be  covered,  and  so  far  as  they  are  independent 
in  character  there  is  not  quite  the  same  guarantee  of 
harmony  in  the  work  or  in  the  objects  aimed  at,  though  it 
must  be  admitted  frankly  that  no  system  is  perfect  unless 
the  instruments  are  also  perfect. 

In  endeavouring,  then,  to  picture  the  religious  and  philan- 
thropic work  done  by  women,  it  will  be  best  to  mention  first 
that  which  is  common  to  most  dioceses.  This  can  only  be 
done  somewhat  generally,  as  the  work  repeats  itself  again 
and  again  in  each  new  field,  and  an  ampler  description  would 
be  but  wearisome.  It  will  perhaps  give  vividness  if  we  select 
a  definite  area,  and  picture  what  is  being  done  in  some  one 
parish  which  may  be  taken  as  typical  of  others,  since  the  bulk 
of  women's  work  is  probably  humble,  unrecorded  work  of  this 
nature.  It  is  impossible  completely  to  separate  them,  and  it 
must  not  be  concluded  that  what  is  spoken  of  as  parochial 
does  not  extend  beyond  ;  where  there  is  life  there  is  growth, 
and  what  has  taken  root  in  one  spot  will  be  grafted  on  else- 
where, and  ultimately  grow  and  cover  the  land. 

Dealing,  then,  with  work  which  is  carried  out  on  the  lines 
of  Church  organization  as  already  described,  we  must  first 
mention  the  women's  branches  of  the  large  societies  for 
Foreign  and  Home  Missions,  all  of  which  aim  at  being 
represented  in  every  parish  in  the  kingdom. 

The  Church  Missionary  Society  has  no  fewer  than  eight 
hundred  and  fifty  associations  worked  by  women,  who  yearly 
raise  the  large  sum  of  .£31,000  for  carrying  on  the  work  abroad. 
Similarly,  the  Society  for  the  Propagation  of  the  Gospel  is 
^enabled  by  the  help  of  women  in  England  to  educate  upwards 
of  five  thousand  of  their  less  fortunate  sisters  in  foreign  parts  ; 
whilst  at  home  the  women's  branches  of  the  two  societies 
which  support  additional  clergy  for  evangelization  in  the 
denser  and  more  difficult  parishes  of  our  own  land,  are  doing 
equally  good  work.  There  is  hardly  a  diocese  without  a 
ladies'  branch  of  the  Additional  Curates,  or  the  Church 
Pastoral  Aid,  Societies  ;  and  soon,  it  is  hoped,  they  will 
be  represented  everywhere.  The  main  object  for  which 
these  societies  enlist  the  help  of  women  is  to  gain  funds, 
obtain  volunteers  for  carrying  on  their  work,  and  to  stimulate 
and  spread  an  interest  in  it.  This  is  the  case  also  with  the 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          1 1 7 

Church  of  England  "  Waifs  and  Strays  Society  "  the  workers 
of  which  are  similarly  organized  on  the  lines  of  the  parish 
and  rural  deanery.    Women  not  only  work  for  this  society  as 
collectors,  they  enter  into  its  actual  management  in  the  care 
of  the  homes  in  which  the  reclaimed  waifs  and  strays  are 
sheltered,   educated,   and   trained   to   earn   their   livelihood. 
Thousands   of  children   who   would    otherwise    be    on   the 
streets,  or  drift  into  crime,  are  thus  rescued,  boarded  out  in 
cottages,  emigrated,  or  gathered  into  homes,  and  there  taught 
household  work,  knitting,  printing,  and  so  forth ;  and  thus 
fitted  to  become  self-supporting  citizens.    Three  other  agencies 
must  be  mentioned  here  as  specially  availing  themselves  of 
the  help  of  Church  organization  in  their  endeavour  to  spread 
throughout  the  land.  The  Women's  Help  Society,  the  Mothers' 
Union,  and  the  Girls'  Friendly  Society,  all  aim  at  having 
workers   in  each   parish ;  these  associated  again  in  groups 
under  what  are  known  as  branch  secretaries ;   lastly,  under 
diocesan   presidents   and  vice-presidents.      The   workers   in 
all  three  must  be  members  of  the  Church  of  England,  though 
this  stipulation  does  not  extend  to  those  enrolled.     The  two 
first-named  must  be  under  the  direction  and  sanction  of  the 
parochial   clergy ;    the   constitution    of   the    Girls'    Friendly 
Society  does  not  convey  a  like  obligation.     The  object  of  all 
three  is  a  similar  one,  to  bring  about  a  better  and  purer  life  ; 
but  they  seek  it  in  slightly  different  ways.    The  special  point 
to  commend  in  the  Women's  Help  Society  is,  that  it  is  a  dis- 
tinctly parochial  agency,  and  seeks  to  band  the  women  of  the 
parish,  young  and  old,  married  and  single,  in  one  common 
endeavour  after  a  higher  life,  one  society  embracing  all.     The 
Mothers'  Union  seeks  to  enlist  those  who  have  the  care  of 
children  in  a  determination  to  shelter  them  from  evil  of  all 
sorts,  and  lead  and  guide  them  into  right  ways.     This  can  be 
incorporated  and  worked  as  a  branch  of  the  Women's  Help 
Society.     The  Girls'  Friendly  Society  works  solely  amongst 
the  young  and  unmarried,  and  has  one  clearly  defined  object, 
the  maintenance  of  purity.    It  is  perhaps  the  most  conspicuous 
illustration  of  women's  work  among  us,  as  it  was  originated  by 
a  lady,  is  entirely  managed  and  worked  by  women  for  the  help 
of  their  own  sex,  and  has  branches  in  quite  half  the  parishes  of 
England,  besides  spreading  to  the  Continent  and  our  colonies. 

JiS  Woman's  Mission. 

Other  agencies  which  are  more  than  parochial,  because 
needing  more  general  support  than  could  be  given  by  any 
one  parish,  such  as  penitentiaries,  refuges,  sisterhoods,  and 
deaconesses'  institutions,  are  to  be  found  in  the  majority  of 
English  dioceses  ;  no  less  than  thirty  having  one  or  more 
penitentiaries,  and  twenty-three  supporting  houses  of  refuge. 
In  all  these  the  workers  are  women,  who  devote  themselves 
to  the  rescue  of  their  fallen  sisters  by  seeking  them  out  in 
their  own  homes,  in  hospitals,  in  workhouses,  in  police  courts, 
and  in  the  public  streets.  The  Church  Penitentiary  Associa- 
tion devotes  itself  chiefly  to  the  maintenance  of  houses  of 
mercy  and  refuges ;  the  Church  Mission  to  the  Fallen  is,  as 
its  name  implies,  engaged  in  combating  vice  in  its  strong- 
holds, in  holding  mission  services,  and  in  direct  mission 
work.  The  Female  Mission  to  the  Fallen  combines  both, 
and  supports  mission  houses  as  well  as  working  among  the 
fallen.  It  is  difficult  to  arrive  at  any  estimate  of  the  good 
work  done  by  their  means.  Some  idea  may  be  gathered, 
however,  from  the  fact  that  the  penitentiaries  and  refuges 
alone  contain  accommodation  for  upwards  of  seven  thousand 
women,  and  that  there  are  worked  in  connection  with  them 
other  agencies,  such  as  convalescent  homes,  training  homes, 
inebriate  homes,  and  so  forth,  to  which  special  cases  are 
drafted  for  special  assistance. 

Forming  a  link  between  the  general  diocesan  work  and 
the  more  distinctly  parochial,  come  the  sisterhoods  and 
deaconesses'  institutions,  the  object  of  both  being  to  train 
for,  and  employ  in,  parish  and  mission  work  women  who 
can  devote  their  lives  to  such  a  purpose.  The  comprehensive 
term  "  Home  Mission  Work  "  best  describes  the  direction  of 
their  efforts  ;  but  it  must  be  understood  in  its  very  widest 
sense,  as  it  includes  visiting  the  poor,  nursing  the  sick, 
establishing  dispensaries,  convalescent  homes,  cottage  hos- 
pitals, homes  of  rest,  schools,  orphanages,  industrial  homes, 
nurseries,  penitentiaries,  refuges,  night  shelters,  laundries, 
workrooms,  class  work,  cheap  dinners  and  teas  in  time  of 
distress,  besides  mission  work  and  ordinary  parochial  work. 
The  sisterhoods  and  deaconesses'  institutions  are  mostly 
diocesan  in  their  character  of  training  institutions ;  but  they 
are  parochial  in  their  application,  the  workers  when  trained 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          119 

undertaking  the  charge  of  certain  parishes  in  which  to  visit 
and  carry  on  their  works  of  mercy.  The  deaconesses,  after  a 
careful  training  in  the  diocesan  institution,  are  set  apart  for 
their  work  by  the  Bishop  of  the  diocese  from  whom  they  hold 
a  licence  ;  they  are  to  work  under  the  control  and  sanction 
of  the  clergy.  The  sisterhoods  are  more  independent  in 
their  character,  not  confining  themselves  to  any  particular 
diocese,  nor  always  feeling  it  necessary  to  seek  the  Bishop's 
sanction  before  invading  one. 

Attached  similarly  to  a  particular  diocese,  but  not  limit- 
ing its  benefits  thereto,  are  the  various  institutions  for  the 
care  of  the  sick  and  suffering.  Twenty-one  dioceses  are 
provided  with  nursing  institutions  with  a  permanent  staff  of 
nurses,  numbering  jointly  between  eight  hundred  and  one 
thousand.  These  go  freely  among  the  sick  poor,  giving 
them  the  benefit  of  their  skill,  and,  when  not  needed  thus, 
may  be  obtained  by  the  rich  on  payment  of  the  usual  fees. 
Cottage  hospitals  are  equally  numerous,  and  so  are  con- 
valescent homes,  and  although  in  some  cases  the  committee 
of  management  maybe  a  mixed  committee,  and  the  secretary 
a  gentleman,  they  may  fairly  come  within  the  scope  of  our 
consideration,  since  all  the  actual  work  of  nursing  and  so 
forth  is  carried  on  by  women.  It  would  not  be  correct  to 
claim  a  monopoly  of  such  work  on  behalf  of  the  Church,  and 
the  extreme  impossibility  of  separating  what  is  Church  work 
and  what  is  not  Church  work  under  this  head,  puts  definite 
statistics  out  of  the  question.  Nursing  is  essentially  a 
woman's  work.  From  the  highest  to  the  lowest  it  has  been 
recognized  as  such,  our  Queen  and  Royal  Princesses  setting 
the  women  of  England  a  noble  example  in  the  interest  they 
have  taken  in  this  provision  for  the  relief  of  suffering.  The 
Princess  Christian  is  president  of  the  Rural  Nursing  Associa- 
tion, a  scheme  for  supplying  the  rural  parts  of  England  with 
nurses,  by  the  establishment  of  local  centres  in  the  small 
towns  where  a  few  may  reside,  and  from  which  railway 
communication  is  sufficiently  easy  to  enable  them  to  cover 
a  large  area  of  neighbouring  villages.  In  epidemics  one 
centre  can  lend  nurses  to  another,  and  thus  a  smaller  number 
is  needed  to  cover  the  ground.  In  certain  cases  their 
services  are  free,  but  a  moderate  scale  of  payments  has  been 

I2O  Woman  s  Mission. 

arranged  for  such  as  can  afford  it,  farmers  and  tradesmen, 
so  that  the  local  centres  may  be  to  a  degree  self-supporting. 

But  let  us  turn  to  the  more  frequent  aspect  of  Church 
work  as  seen  in  the  life  and  working  of  a  parish.  Where 
shall  we  look  for  an  example  ? 

The  centre  of  English  life  and  civilization,  London,  that 
great  capital  in  which  poverty  and  wealth,  fashion  and  philan- 
thropy alike  congregate,  first  rises  to  our  minds  as  likely  to 
supply  the  most  varied  material  combined  with  the  greatest 
vigour  and  the  most  complete  organization. 

But  on  reflection,  it  will  be  admitted  that  London  is  too 
big,  that  its  very  size  prevents  coherence  of  work,  and  that 
its  conditions  of  life  are  not  sufficiently  varied  to  give  a  fair 
illustration  of  what  is  being  done  over  the  whole  of  England. 

"  Not  sufficiently  varied  ? "  it  may  be  asked,  '  when  star- 
vation jostles  wealth,  when  ignorance  and  crime  live  side 
by  side  with  cultivated  intellects,  when  every  shade  of 
religious  opinion  and  every  form  of  religious  worship  finds 
a  home  there !  Not  sufficiently  varied  ?  What  could  be 
more  so?"  Yes,  too  varied  in  one  way  and  yet  not  suffi- 
ciently varied  in  another  ;  for  it  must  not  be  forgotten  that 
though  the  tendency  of  English  life  undoubtedly  is  to  be- 
come less  and  less  agricultural,  and  to  congregate  more  and 
more  in  towns,  there  yet  remains  a  large  rural  population, 
quite  distinct  from  anything  London  can  show,  and  living 
under  totally  different  conditions.  Besides  these,  there  are 
the  sailors  and  seamen,  the  fishers  on  our  coasts,  and  a  large 
nomadic  population,  consisting  of  canal  boatmen  and  bargees, 
whose  lives  are  spent  in  passing  from  place  to  place ;  and  in 
addition  a  larger  number  still,  a  whole  army  of  men,  known 
as  navvies,  who  have  no  fixed  habitation,  but  move  from  spot 
to  spot,  settling  for  a  time  only  where  work  requires  to  be 
done.  Though  samples  of  these  may  be  found  in  London, 
and  now  and  again  in  other  great  towns,  they  are  not 
characteristic  of  town  but  of  country  life ;  and  therefore  a 
picture  which  should  combine  all  the  features  of  women's 
work  in  the  Old  Country  must  be  one  which  is  rural  as  well 
as  urban  in  its  area.  Its  very  greatness  makes  London  ex- 
ceptional, and  deprives  it  of  the  honour  of  being  completely 
typical  of  English  life. 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          121 

For  a  fair  combination  of  town  and  country  life  we  must 
go  to  the  north.  Nowhere  else  do  we  find  the  two  so 
adequately  represented.  In  the  south  of  England, 'London, 
like  a  huge  magnet,  attracts  trade  to  itself.  In  the  north,  the 
presence  of  coal-fields  and  iron  ensure  the  permanence  of 
certain  industries,  and  supply  favourable  conditions  for  the 
prosecution  of  others,  which  therefore  are  established  and 
carried  on  near  these  sources  of  their  motive  power.  Added 
to  this,  some  of  the  wildest  regions  of  country  life,  some 
of  the  remotest  spots,  where  the  whistle  of  the  railway  and 
the  whirr  of  the  telegraph-wire  is  never  heard,  are  to  be  found 
in  the  northern  counties  of  England  ;  so  that  we  have  here  a 
population  composed  both  of  mechanics  and  agriculturists, 
of  mill-hands  and  of  children  of  the  soil,  among  whom  are 
interspersed  those  classes  common  to  all  parts,  whose  business 
it  is  to  supply  the  necessaries  of  life  to  their  toiling  brothers 
and  sisters,  and  who  are  best  described  as  the  trading  class  ; 
whilst  scattered  about  the  lovely  dales  and  broadening  valleys 
of  the  North  are  noble  country  seats,  or  humbler  shooting 
boxes,  in  which,  for  a  portion  of  the  year  at  least,  are  to  be 
found  the  wealthy  and  the  aristocratic.  Here  are  needs  and 
here  are  resources,  amongst  which  Englishwomen  work  ;  how 
can  they  make  one  minister  to  the  other  ? 

Let  us  imagine  a  representative  parish  with  its  church 
and  one  or  more  clergy  as  the  case  may  be,  and  a  popu- 
lation of  some  ten  or  fifteen  thousand,  with  an  almost 
equal  acreage  bordering  on  a  country  town,  nay,  including 
part  of  it,  thick  with  mills  and  factories.  This  is  not  an 
uncommon  state  of  things  ;  there  are  many  such,  probably 
districts  which  were  originally  large  moors,  with  here  and 
there  a  gamekeeper's  house,  a  farm,  and  now  and  again  the 
shooting  box  or  country  mansion,  but  upon  which  a  huge 
town  has  grown  up,  attracted  by  some  favourable  conditions 
of  its  minerals,  soil,  or  water.  The  Church  sends  her  servant, 
but  what  can  he  do  among  so  many  over  so  wide  an  area  ? 
He  must  neglect  the  work,  or  he  must  seek  help  ;  and  it  is 
amongst  the  women  of  his  flock  that  he  will  chiefly  find  it. 
Except  in  the  actual  ministry  of  the  sanctuary  there  is 
hardly  a  department  in  which  women  cannot  take  their  part. 

His  first  effort  will  be  to  know  his  people,  to  which  end 

122  Woman s  Mission. 

he  will  map  out  the  whole  of  his  parish  into  districts,  and  to 
each  will  assign  a  lady  as  district  visitor  ;  her  office  entitling 
her  to  call  at  every  house,  to  ascertain  the  circumstances  and 
need  of  every  parishioner,  and  to  deal  with  them  to  the  best 
of  her  power,  either  by  reporting  them  to  the  clergy,  or  to 
the  particular  society  or  agency  for  good  which  devotes  itself 
to  such  needs.  But  her  work  does  not  stop  here.  She 
will  use  her  influence  to  persuade  the  parents  to  come  to 
church,  to  send  their  children  to  school ;  she  will  explain 
to  them  the  meaning  of  Baptism,  and  as  often  as  not  will 
stand  sponsor  for  the  little  ones.  She  will  notice  their 
material  needs,  and  encourage  wise  thrift  by  the  establish- 
ment of  blanket,  coal,  and  maternity  clubs,  the  principle  of 
which  is  to  add  a  bonus  when  the  parents'  pence  have  reached 
a  certain  amount,  and  so  enable  them  in  time  of  need  to 
command  a  sum  sufficient  to  be  of  real  service  for  the  supply 
of  their  wants. 

And  she  will  also  notice  their  moral  needs.  There  is 
hardly  a  parish  in  which  a  mothers'  meeting  is  not  held,  pre- 
sided over  by  a  lady  who  reads  some  helpful  book,  whilst  the 
women  sew  garments,  which  they  can  afterwards  buy  for  the 
cost  of  the  material.  In  this  way  an  influence  is  gained,  and 
the  opportunity  secured  of  talking  over  many  home  diffi- 
culties, of  learning  from  the  experience  of  others,  and  of 
hearing  words  of  wise  counsel  and  help  from  the  lady  who 
conducts  the  meeting. 

The  care  of  children  and  of  the  home  forms  a  natural 
topic  upon  which  to  dwell,  and  in  connection  with  these 
mothers'  meetings  there  is  usually  established  a  branch  of 
the  Mothers'  Union,  a  society  whose  object  is  to  band  the 
women  of  England  together  in  a  united  effort  to  raise  the 
tone  of  the  home,  and  to  fulfil  more  conscientiously  the  duties 
of  motherhood  in  the  training  of  their  children.  A  truly 
woman's  work,  originated  by  a  woman  and  carried  on 
amongst  women  by  women,  which,  though  humble  and 
unostentatious  in  its  character,  is  perhaps  one  of  the  most 
valuable  agencies  for  good  in  our  land,  since  it  seeks  to  cleanse 
the  fountain  at  its  spring  rather  than  stem  the  torrent  of  evil 
when  it  has  grown  to  full  flood.  If  we  may  believe  the 
cynical  saying  that  "  Woman  sits  at  the  fount  of  life  and 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          123 

poisons  all  its  springs,"  we  shall  readily  see  what  a  power  for 
good  rests  with  the  mothers  of  England  in  a  persistent 
united  effort  to  train  their  children  in  the  way  of  righteousness. 

This  thought  of  the  home  life  leads  naturally  to  the 
school  life  of  the  children,  and  here  again  we  find  the  women 
of  England  working  in  concert  with  the  Church.  The 
parochial  machinery  would  not  be  complete  without  the 
Sunday  school,  where  the  children  are  gathered  week  by 
week,  to  be  instructed  by  lady  volunteers,  and  then  marshalled 
to  service  in  the  church  itself.  Not  only  are  they  there  kept 
profitably  employed  throughout  the  holy  day,  but  they  learn 
lessons  which  influence  their  whole  lives.  The  testimony  of 
prison  chaplains,  and  those  who  work  amongst  the  fallen  and 
degraded,  is  most  striking  as  to  the  great  value  and  lasting 
nature  of  this  very  unobtrusive  part  of  women's  work. 

But  sickness  may  enter  the  home,  and  here  again  woman 
finds  her  mission.  The  district  visitor  first  learns  the  trouble, 
she  carries  the  news  to  the  clergyman,  and  obtains  such  relief 
as  the  Church  can  afford,  either  by  gifts  of  money,  coal,  beef- 
tea,  blankets,  or  the  assistance  of  a  trained  nurse,  belonging 
either  to  the  parish  or  the  Rural  Nursing  Association.  It  is 
increasingly  general  for  each  parish,  or  for  a  combination  of 
small  neighbouring  parishes,  to  support  a  district  nurse,  and 
these  devoted  women  well  deserve  a  notice  here.  Many  of 
them  fulfil  the  double  office  of  Bible  woman  or  Evangelist, 
and  nurse  (the  Church  Army  trains  and  supplies  such),  and 
it  has  been  found  that  women  can  often  obtain  an  entry  and 
an  influence  where  the  clergyman  fails.  The  fact  that  some 
earn  their  living  in  such  work  need  not  rob  them  of  their  due 
meed  of  honour,  for  "  the  labourer  is  worthy  of  his  hire." 

Besides  these  more  constant  forms  of  parochial  work, 
there  comes  now  and  again  a  need  of  money  for  some  special 
object, — the  church  fabric,  the  schools,  a  new  mission-room, 
for  the  relief  of  the  poor  in  very  severe  winters,  for  our 
soldiers  in  time  of  war ;  and  it  is  through  women  the  help 
will  be  obtained.  Thousands  of  penny  and  even  halfpenny 
dinners  are  prepared  every  winter  for  the  relief  of  starving 
children,  whilst  hundreds  of  flannel  garments  were  made  by 
ladies  for  the  use  of  our  soldiers  in  the  late  war  in  the 
Soudan.  Women  are  excellent  and  most  successful  beggars, 

124  Woman  s  Mission. 

and  such  ways  of  raising  money  as  sales  of  work,  bazaars, 
etc.,  naturally  belong  to  their  department  of  life.  As  money- 
raisers  there  is  scarcely  a  branch  of  Church  work  from 
which  they  are  excluded ;  whilst  who  shall  tell  of  the 
thousands  of  private  benevolences  carried  on  by  Church- 
women  ?  One  will  at  her  own  cost  support  a  convalescent 
home  for  a  parish  in  which  she  is  interested  ;  another  will 
erect  and  endow  almshouses ;  another  make  substantial  dona- 
tions towards  the  parochial  charitable  funds,  or  continue 
small  yearly  pensions  to  special  cases.  All  these,  and  such 
as  these,  must  remain  for  ever  unchronicled,  and  unestimatcd, 
amongst  the  work  of  English  Churchwomen. 

In  the  decoration  of  our  churches  at  special  seasons, 
Easter,  Harvest,  and  Christmas,  they  also  take  a  large  and 
active  part ;  whilst  the  permanent  adornment  of  churches  with 
costly  and  beautiful  embroideries  becomes  not  only  a  pleasure 
but  a  work  of  philanthropy,  when,  as  is  most  often  the  case, 
it  is  supplied  from  sisterhoods  and  penitentiaries  where  it  pro- 
vides a  livelihood  for  the  women  who,  through  sin  and  misfor- 
tune, have  dropped  out  of  the  highway  of  life.  In  some  cases 
repositories  for  the  sale  of  painting  and  needlework  have 
been  opened  for  the  express  purpose  of  enabling  gentle- 
women, and  the  wives  and  daughters  of  poor  clergy,  thus  to 
add  to  their  slender  means.  In  many  rural  districts  the 
training  of  the  choir,  and  the  playing  of  the  organ,  is  under- 
taken by  a  lady  or  the  village  schoolmistress. 

But  in  the  parish  we  have  supposed,  there  are  large 
factories  and  mills  in  which  whole  families  find  work,  even 
the  children  earning  something  as  soon  as  the  School  Board 
allows  them  to  become  "half-timers,"  so  that  here  at  least 
the  pinch  of  poverty  is  not  felt.  Is  there  work  for  women 
here?  Yes,  much  for  those  whose  eyes  are  opened  to  see 
the  need ;  not  in  the  way  of  pecuniary  relief,  but  of  social 
improvement,  intellectual  and  moral  training,  and  spiritual 

The  dinner-hour  can  be  used  for  reading  to  the  mill-hands, 
and  influence  can  be  brought  to  bear  upon  the  mill-owner  to 
provide  (where  this  is  not  already  done)  an  airy,  wholesome, 
room  in  which  the  dinners  can  be  enjoyed.  In  cases  where 
women  can  only  earn  very  low  wages  for  piece-work,  the 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          125 

Church  has  not  thought  it  outside  her  province  to  provide  for 
them  a  common  work-room,  to  organize  them,  and  in  the 
person  of  some  lady  worker  undertake  on  their  behalf  large 
Government  contracts  for  work  at  a  better  price  than  they 
could  command  individually.  By  moving  thus  amongst 
them,  many  can  be  induced  to  join  the  Women's  Help,  or 
the  Girls'  Friendly,  Society,  and  an  evening  club  with  its 
recreation-room  and  classes  can  be  started.  Since  Miss 
Maude  Stanley  so  successfully  organized  a  girls'  club  for  the 
shop-girls  of  London,  the  value  of  such  clubs  has  been  recog- 
nized, and  they  are  multiplying  rapidly.  They  are  often  the 
only  way  in  which  an  influence  can  be  gained  over  young  girls, 
who,  alas  !  are  sadly  too  independent.  The  moment  they  get 
to  the  mill  and  find  they  can  earn  enough  for  their  own 
support,  they  fling  off  all  restraint ;  and  it  is  not  an  uncom- 
mon thing  to  find  that  a  girl  has  left  her  home  and  taken 
lodgings  for  herself,  because  of  some  trifling  discomfort,  or 
because  her  parent  has  presumed  to  find  fault  with  her.  One 
trembles  to  think  of  her  future  with  only  the  streets,  or  cheap 
places  of  entertainment,  for  her  means  of  recreation  after 
work  is  over.  The  club  provides  a  shelter,  a  meeting-ground 
for  friends,  and  by  means  of  classes  and  the  intercourse  of 
ladies,  who  freely  spend  their  evenings  among  the  girls, 
an  ideal  of  a  higher  life.  That  this  is  no  baseless  dream  is 
evidenced  by  the  change  that  comes  over  the  club  members. 
The  growth  of  their  own  self-respect  is  proved  by  their 
changed  demeanour,  by  their  more  tidy  attire ;  and  if  one 
should  relapse  into  lower  ways,  her  consciousness  that  she 
has  sunk  below  what  she  might  have  been,  is  shown  by  her 
voluntary  withdrawal  from  club  membership.  Here  again  is 
a  large  field  of  women's  work  of  which  no  record  exists,  and 
of  which  no  statistics  are  possible. 

But  a  mother  is  in  trouble  about  her  daughter ;  she  has 
fallen  among  bad  companions,  and  it  seems  desirable  to 
remove  her  from  her  present  surroundings.  The  girl  has  a 
wish  to  go  abroad,  but  she  has  no  means  of  obtaining 
a  livelihood.  The  mother  talks  it  over  with  the  district 
visitor,  who  tells  her  friends  of  the  case,  and  by  interesting 
the  squire  and  the  richer  parishioners  obtains  from  them  the 
funds  to  send  the  girl  to  a  training  home  for  a  while,  where 

126  Woman's  Mission. 

she  will  be  fitted  for  domestic  service.  When  ready  for  her 
journey,  she  is  protected  on  the  way  through  the  agency  of 
women.  The  Travellers'  Aid  Society  will  send  a  lady  to 
meet  her  as  she  steps  from  the  train,  will  conduct  her  to  a 
shelter  for  the  night ;  the  Ladies'  Auxiliary  of  the  Church 
Emigration  Society  will  assist  her  with  her  passage  and 
provide  a  matron  to  care  for  her  and  others  on  the  voyage  ; 
or  if  she  be  a  member  of  the  Girls'  Friendly  Society,  she  will 
derive  like  benefits  from  its  protecting  care.  Even  after 
arrival  in  the  new  land  she  is  not  cast  adrift,  but  is  watched 
over  until  suitably  placed,  and  even  then  is  kept  in  touch 
with  the  old  home  by  means  of  the  post.  The  Girls'  Letter 
Guild  is  doing  a  good  work  in  this  way.  Ladies  joining  the 
Guild  undertake  to  write  to  one  or  more  girls  at  home  or 
abroad  once  a  month.  This  gives  them  the  sense  that  they 
are  not  unfriended  in  the  world,  and  a  word  may  often  thus 
be  spoken  in  season.  It  has  been  found  that  they  greatly 
value  these  letters,  and  willingly  confide  their  troubles  and 
difficulties  to  "  their  ladies,"  who  acquire  thus  a  valuable 
influence  for  good  over  those  whom  perhaps  they  have  never 
seen.  This  is  a  work  which  can  be  carried  on  by  women 
whose  health  precludes  them  from  undertaking  any  more 
active  service  for  their  Church. 

But  the  more  rural  parts  of  the  parish  must  not  be  neg- 
lected. There  we  find  the  small  farmers'  and  the  game- 
keepers' cottages  scattered  over  the  moors.  What  can  be 
done  for  them  ?  Clubs  and  classes  are  of  little  use,  for  they 
could  not  attend  them  ;  the  distances  would  be  too  great. 
Personal  interest  and  frequent  visits  are  necessary  to  obtain 
an  influence.  Then  the  women  may  be  induced  to  join  one 
of  those  societies  for  maintaining  a  higher  ideal  of  life  which 
have  been  already  mentioned,  membership  in  which  gives  a 
reason  for  gathering  them  together  for  an  occasional  tea,  or 
periodical  work  meeting,  at  which  some  lady  from  another 
parish  will  come  and  give  them  an  address  upon  the  obliga- 
tions which  rest  upon  them  in  the  care  of  their  own  children 
and  of  the  inmates  of  their  household.  The  maintenance  of  a 
higher  standard  of  purity  is  a  direction  in  which  work  in  the 
rural  districts  is  sorely  needed.  A  curious  system  still  exists 
in  the  north  of  England  of  hiring  farm  servants  by  the  year. 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.          127 

The  "hirings"  occur  in  May  or  November,  when  lads  and 
lasses  flock  to  the  neighbouring  market  town,  and  stand  in 
the  market-place  much  like  cattle,  waiting  to  be  hired.  The 
farmers  come  round  and  pick  out  one  and  another,  paying 
them  there  and  then  a  portion  of  their  year's  wages  as  a  sort 
of  retaining  fee.  The  occasion  is  made  a  general  holiday,  a 
fair  or  show  not  infrequently  visiting  the  town  at  the  "hirings," 
and  two  or  three  days  are  spent  in  enjoyment  by  these  young 
people  before  entering  their  new  service.  It  is  easy  to  see 
into  what  temptations  they  are  thus  thrown.  By  the  efforts 
of  earnest  Churchwomen,  rooms  are  now  provided  in  which 
the  girls  may  wait,  and  every  persuasion  is  being  used  to 
destroy  the  prejudice  of  farmers  and  their  wives  in  favour  of 
the  older  method  of  selection.  A  mission-woman,  who  attends 
fairs  to  draw  the  attention  of  local  authorities  to  any  dis- 
graceful exhibitions  and  to  prevent  the  sale  of  degrading 
literature,  has  done  much  to  purify  these  gatherings.  Similar 
special  work,  in  which  women  have  their  share,  is  undertaken 
by  the  Church  in  the  south  of  England  among  the  hop- 
pickers  and  harvesters ;  while  the  valuable  work  done  by 
Miss  Daniell  and  Miss  Robinson  among  the  soldiers,  and 
by  Miss  Weston  among  the  sailors,  must  not  be  forgotten. 
In  both,  the  post  affords  a  valuable  ally,  the  circulation  of 
the  monthly  letters  among  the  sailors  amounting  to  about 
500,000 ;  whilst  Bible  classes,  temperance  and  social  meetings, 
homes  of  rest,  industrial  work-rooms,  and  free  registry  offices 
for  the  wives  and  widows,  flourish  and  abound.  Women  also 
take  their  part  in  the  special  missions  to  the  Jews,  of  whom 
many  are  to  be  found  at  the  centres  of  industrial  and  com- 
mercial life. 

We  have  seen  how  English  Churchwomen  may  minister  in 
the  parish,  in  the  schools,  among  the  homes  of  the  poor,  in 
the  care  of  the  churches,  to  the  workers  in  mills  and  factories, 
and  to  the  farming  class  ;  but  what  about  the  rich  ?  Is  there 
any  opening  for  them  here  ?  Any  work  for  them  to  do  ? 
Yes,  much.  There  are  as  kindly  hearts  amongst  the  rich  as 
may  be  found  in  other  ranks  ;  but  the  cares  of  this  life,  the 
deceitfulness  of  riches,  and  the  lust  of  other  things,  enter  into 
their  hearts  and  make  them  unfruitful.  "  Evil  is  wrought  by 
want  of  thought  as  well  as  want  of  heart."  How  true  it  is  ! 

128  Woman  s  Mission. 

Any  influence,  therefore,  that  can  bring  the  rich  more  into 
touch   with   the  poor,   and   with   their  dependents,  is   most 
valuable,  and  this  is  done  by  women  in  thousands  of  ways. 
Nothing  so  awakens  the  heart  as  doing  a  kindness,  and  the 
fact  of  living  among  the  people  brings  many  an  opportunity 
before  the  rich  and  leisured  class.     It  is  comparatively  easy 
to  give  of  their  wealth,  and  without  them  few  of  the  orphanages, 
refuges,  convalescent  homes,  hospitals,  and  so  forth,  could  be 
supported  ;  but  more  valuable  by  far  is  their  own  individual 
work.     The  Church  seeks  to   obtain    such.      The   sense   of 
parochial  life  is  very  strong,  and    tends  to   foster  a  sort  of 
proprietary  right  in  the  necessitous  of  the  parish ;  and  when 
invited  to   give  help,   the   claim  is   readily  recognized   and 
admitted.     The  work  may  not  be  so  constant,  so  regular,  or 
so  devoted,  as  that  of  those  who  can  say,  "  This  one  thing 
I  do,"  but  it  is  not  to  be  despised  on  that  account.     A  casual 
visit  to  a  country  house  might  leave  the  impression  that  the 
lives  of  the  rich  and  of  the  poor  are  very  clearly  separated  ;  a 
longer   sojourn,  and  a  more   intimate  acquaintance,   would 
reveal  unexpected   self-sacrifice   and  quiet   devotion  to  the 
good  of  others.     To  undertake  a  district,  the  conduct  of  a 
mothers'  meeting,  or  any  work  which  necessitates  a  constant 
attendance,  is  not  easy  for  those  whose  lives  are  not  tied  to 
one  spot ;  but  there  are  other  ways  of  helping.     The  Letter 
Guild  has  been  already  spoken  of,  and  is  much  appreciated 
by  the  lonely  lives  of  those  in  domestic  service  and  in  shops. 
It  is  valued  also  as  a  means  of  caring  for  the  insane  after 
they  have  been  discharged  from  asylums,  for  even  these  poor 
afflicted  ones  are  not  forgotten  by  a  Church  who,  like  her 
Lord,  seeks  to  be  ever  doing  good.     The  sick  and  suffering 
also  are  thus  cheered  by  a  society  calling  themselves  "  Watchers 
and  Workers,"  and  which  is  said  to  find  its  parallel  on  the 
other  side  of  the  Atlantic  in  the  "  Shut-ups."     Like  the  pen, 
the  needle  may  be  plied   in   any  spot.     Needlework  guilds 
are  popular  and  useful  among  the  leisured  class.     By  their 
means  enormous  numbers  of  plain  garments  are  contributed 
for  distribution  amongst  poor  parishes,  hospitals,  industrial 
homes,  etc.,  whilst  such  a  gift  to  the  poor  over-pressed  parson 
is   indeed   a  god-send.      Much   Christian  kindness  is   often 
shown  by  the  rich  towards  the    clergy — a  class  frequently 

Work  in  connection  with  the  Church.         129 

needing  as  much  as,  but  more  difficult  to  help  than,  the  poor. 
If  offered  sympathetically  and  privately,  they  will  gladly 
accept  clothing  which  the  exigencies  of  fashion  cause  the 
wealthy  to  discard,  whilst  still  too  good  for  the  maid  or  the 
valet.  They  may  also  be  helped  by  the  establishment  of  a 
Diocesan  Holiday  Fund,  of  a  home  of  rest  by  the  sea,  of  a 
pension  fund  for  the  time  when  sickness  or  old  age  shall  lay 
them  on  one  side,  and  of  schools  where  their  children  can  be 
educated  on  lower  terms  ;  or  more  simply  and  more  easily 
the  rich  can  confer  upon  them  an  enormous  boon  by  giving 
them  the  privilege  of  spending  a  fortnight  at  their  country 
houses,  whilst  they  themselves  flock  up  to  London  for  the 

In  many  large  houses  a  practice  is  made  of  entertaining 
an  overworked  nurse,  or  district  visitor,  until  her  strength  is 
recruited,  and  in  some  the  lodge  is  utilized  permanently  for 
such  a  worthy  purpose.  Many  homes  are  also  partly  sup- 
ported by  the  gifts  of  the  rich  in  which  governesses  and 
ladies  earning  their  own  living  can  reside  at  a  low  cost. 

But  in  educational  efforts,  perhaps,  the  rich  and  cultured 
class  find  more  natural  scope.  An  association  peculiar  to 
the  north  of  England,  called  the  Ladies'  Council  of  Education, 
gives  a  wonderful  picture  of  the  multifarious  ways  in  which 
educated  women  can  work  for  and  assist  their  less  favoured 
sisters.  Affiliated  with  them,  and  akin  to  them,  is  what 
is  known  as  the  Northern  Union  of  Domestic  Economy, 
mentioned  here  because  the  Church  does  not  disdain  to  look 
upon  such  homely  subjects  as  cookery,  laundry,  and  dairy 
classes,  as  worthy  her  support.  The  Parents'  National  Educa- 
tional Union  also  owes  its  origin  to  the  North.  Its  effort  is 
to  bring  before  parents  of  all  classes  the  most  rational 
methods  of  training  and  rearing  children  under  four  heads, 
the  physical,  the  mental,  the  moral,  and  the  religious  aspects 
of  life.  It  was  originated  by  a  lady,  and  though  not  limited 
to  women  or  to  Church  members,  it  is  worked  by  both. 

Time  fails  to  tell  of  all  the  branches  of  Church  work  in 
which  the  women  of  England  are  associated.  We  have  tried 
to  touch  upon  a  few,  and  lightly  sketch  some  of  the  work 
which  is  being  done  in  every  parish  of  England  ;  but  how 
shall  we  estimate  its  magnitude  ?  Of  quiet  home  work  such 


130  Woman  s  Mission. 

as  this  it  is  impossible  to  give  statistics,  since  no  general 
records  of  what  is  done  are  obtainable.  Some  slight  idea 
may  be  gathered  when  we  realize  that  in  almost  every  parish 
of  England — and  there  are  between  fourteen  and  fifteen 
thousand  parishes — there  are  to  be  found  ladies,  or  paid  agents, 
or  both,  engaged  in  one  or  other  of  the  good  works  we  have 
touched  upon.  A  noble  army,  if  we  allow  only  the  moderate 
estimate  of  one  or  two  to  every  parish  ;  too  low  an  average, 
doubtless,  when  we  remember  that  many  town  parishes 
number  some  thirty  or  more  as  workers. 

From  whatever  point  we  look  at  the  work — from  the 
aspect  of  the  ground  covered,  or  that  of  the  numerous  and 
varied  agencies  employed,  or  that  of  the  number  of  workers, 
or  of  the  character  of  the  help  given,  or  if  we  seek  to  estimate 
the  results  achieved — we  must  be  struck  by  its  breadth  and 
comprehensiveness ;  embracing  as  it  does  every  rank  and 
class,  seeking  to  gather  and  utilize  from  each  that  special 
form  of  help  which  the  circumstances  of  life  best  fit  each  to 
give,  and  applying  them  to  every  form  of  need,  physical, 
mental,  moral,  and  spiritual.  Truly,  woman  may  be  a 
ministering  angel  in  the  world  when  following  the  steps  of 
Him  who  "  went  about  doing  good." 



Hon.  Org.  Sec.  National  Union  of  Women  Workers. 

"  The  Unity  which  we  now  demand,  whether  in  theory  or  life,  is  no  longer 
the  pseudo-unity  of  external  arrangement,  as  in  a  machine,  but  the  inward  unity 
of  a  living  whole." — "  Science  and  the  Faith,"  by  Aubrey  Moore.  Introduction, 
p.  xxix. 

AMONG  the  most  striking  phenomena  of  the  nineteenth 
century,  the  social  historian  will,  surely  number  the  universal 
recourse  to  machinery.  Not  only  is  there  a  revival  of 
primitive  usages  and  of  the  methods  of  the  mediaeval  Church, 
but  Societies,  "Armies,"  Leagues,  Unions,  Committees,  and 
"  movements  "  innumerable  testify  to  a  keen  sense  of  dis-, 
content  with  existing  conditions  of  life  and  thought. 

The  effect  to  the  unprejudiced  observer  is  somewhat^ 
bewildering.  We  ask  ourselves  whether  the  result  may  not 
be  to  increase  our  unrealities  and  divisions;  whether  the 
sense  of  individual  responsibility  is  not  lessened  by  these 
opportunities  for  the  charity  which  can  be  exercised  by 
deputy  and  by  the  drawing  of  cheques ;  whether  we  may  not 
be  raising  a  new  tyranny  in  which  the  voices  of  the  more 
thoughtful  will  be  drowned  by  the  clamour  of  the  fanatical 
and  half-instructed  ;  whether  any  number  of  guilds,  with 
cards  and  rules,  will  draw  rich  and  poor  together,  or  give 
the  inspiration  to  a  higher  life,  which  is  needed  by  rich  and 
poor  alike.  These  more  or  less  artificial  combinations,  do 
they  testify  to  an  underlying  reality  ?  May  we  throw  our- 
selves into  this  tendency  of  our  age,  and  trust  that  we  are 
following  the  guidance  of  One  "  who  is  not  far  from  any  one 

132  Woman s  Mission. 

of  us,"  but  is  evolving  a  better  order  out  of  this  seeming 
confusion  ? 

We  stand  between  the  past  and  the  future.  If  we  would 
work  well  in  the  present,  our  theories  must  have  a  scientific 
basis  of  carefully  considered  facts.  Then,  having  well 
thought  out  our  generalizations,  we  should  be  prepared  to 
give  a  reason  for  our  choice  of  methods,  and  have  courage 
and  patience  in  the  inevitable  slowness  of  sound  progress,  as 

"  The  old  order  changeth,  yielding  place  to  new." 

"  Facts,"  says  Emerson,  "  are  the  angels  of  the  Lord  " — 
angels  for  guidance,  angels  also  of  warning.  Let  us,  then, 
endeavour  to  learn  something  of  the  ways  in  which  English- 
women are  working  in  associated  effort  to  bring  religious 
principle,  womanly  pity,  and  the  higher  culture,  to  bear  upon 
the  perplexing  problems  of  latter-day  civilization,  in  order 
that  we  may  judge  to  some  extent  how  far  they  are  success- 
ful in  dealing  with  poverty  and  vice,  how  far  they  are  raising 
public  opinion  on  crucial  questions,  how  far  they  are  spread- 
ing "  sweetness  and  light "  among  an  ignorant  and  Philistine 

It  would  be  impossible,  in  the  compass  of  one  brief  paper, 
to  attempt  the  barest  enumeration  of  the  many  bodies  of 
associated  women  workers  in  Great  Britain  and  her  colonies. 
An  approximately  accurate  list  is  given  in  the  pages  of  "  The 
Englishwoman's  Year  Book."  It  is  enough  for  us  to  say 
that  the  religious  and  philanthropic  work  of  Englishwomen 
covers  every  department  of  human  life,  every  phase  of 
human  need.  English  women  workers  come  from  every 
rank  and  class — from  our  own  Royal  Princesses,  from  women 
of  high  degree,  from  graduates  of  our  ancient  universities, 
down  to  the  toil-worn  factory-girl  who  rises  at  five  in  the 
morning  that  she  may  do  her  house-work  and  sewing,  and 
be  free  to  spend  her  evenings  in  unpaid  labour  for  her  poorer 
sisters.  Every  Church,  every  congregation,  has  its  band  of 
workers,  Anglican  and  Roman  Catholic,  Presbyterian,  Con- 
gregationalist,  Wesleyan,  Salvationist — a  mighty  army  of 
untold  number,  "  the  great  reserve  force  of  humanity,"  whose 
desire  and  aim  is  to  help  on  all  that  makes  for  righteousness. 
Surely  this  is  a  great  fact.  Surely  the  statesman,  the 

On  Associated  Work.  133 

philanthropist,  the  reformer,  the  theologian,  will  find  here  a 
matter  of  deep  concern,  and  see  to  it  that  this  incalculable 
force  has  its  due  place  in  the  thickening  struggle  for  human 

Let  us  give  precedence  to  the  oldest  organized  bodies  of 
women  workers  among  us.  Let  us  think  for  a  moment  of  the 
memories  clustering  round  the  names  of  St.  Theresa,  of  St. 
Catharine  of  Siena,  of  religious  orders  like  that  of  St.  Vincent 
de  Paul.  They  are  among  us  now,  these  Sisters  of  Mercy, 
Sisters  of  Charity,  Nuns  of  the  Good  Shepherd,  Faithful 
Companions  of  Jesus,  and  members  of  other  religious  orders, 
— some  three  thousand  in  number  in  England  and  Scotland, — 
who,  with  unswerving  fidelity  to  their  traditions,  teach  the 
poor,  the  orphan,  the  blind,  and  the  deaf  and  dumb,  and  tend 
the  sick,  the  convalescent,  and  the  insane.  If,  as  one  shrewd 
observer  calculates,  but  one  in  ten  of  the  members  of  a  sister- 
hood is  competent  to  do  more  than  carry  out  directions  given 
by  the  organizing  head,  the  remaining  nine-tenths  being 
unfit  even  for  so  much  as  that  without  incessant  supervision 
and  advice,  one  can  but  admire  the  more  the  results 
gained  by  continuity  and  rule.  The  educational  standard  of 
the  Loretto  Nuns  is  of  the  highest ;  the  care  of  the  aged 
poor  by  "  The  Little  Sisters  "  worthy  of  all  praise ;  and  the 
industrial  and  reformatory  schools  managed  by  other  sister- 
hoods satisfy  even  our  Government  inspectors,  men  who 
know  nor  fear  nor  favour.  It  is  evident  that  each  sisterhood 
must  have  a  due  proportion  of  women  with  force  of  character, 
mental  power,  and  capacity  for  rule  ;  that,  in  community 
life,  the  average  woman  can  be  trained  to  much  usefulness  ; 
and  that,  far  from  offering  a  dreary  uniformity  of  experience, 
it  affords  scope  for  great  diversity  of  operations  and  for  the 
development  of  individual  gifts. 

But  these  sisterhoods  are  more  or  less  exotic  among  us. 
The  Church  of  England,  instead  of  applying  correction  and 
direction,  suppressed  the  religious  orders  at  the  Reformation. 
"  No  fact  in  modern  history  is  more  deeply  to  be  deplored," 
says  Mr.  Lecky,*  who  is  not  to  be  suspected  of  any  ecclesias- 
tical bias.  The  woman  of  Puritan  times  was  often  heroic, 
like  Lady  Rachel  Russell  or  Mrs.  Hutchinson  ;  or  saintly,  like 

*  Lecky's  "  History  of  European  Morals,"  vol.  ii.  p.  370. 

134  Woman  s  Mission. 

Margaret  Godolphin  or  Margaret  Baxter.  A  parson's  wife, 
as  portrayed  by  George  Herbert,  might  dress  the  sores  and 
wounds  of  the  poor  folk  of  her  husband's  parish  ;  a  bishop's 
wife,  like  Elizabeth  Burnet,  might  establish  charity-schools 
and  spend  four-fifths  of  her  income  on  the  poor  ;  and  a  knot 
of  good  women,  "the  Protestant  Nuns  "of  Little  Gidding, 
might  lead  a  retired  and  consecrated  life  ;  later  on,  in  the 
eighteenth  century,  a  Susannah  Wesley  might  show  how  the 
duty  of  a  housewife  and  a  mother  was  compatible  with  a 
larger  care  for  the  men  and  women  about  her  ;  but  the  con- 
ception of  religion  and  duty  for  two  centuries  was  mainly 
that  of  home  and  neighbourhood,  with  little  outlook  beyond. 
Education  was  limited,  locomotion  difficult,  but  the  towns 
were  smaller,  and  there  was  less  separation  of  class  from 
class,  though  social  grades  were  very  distinctly  marked. 

It  needed  the  shock  of  the  Evangelical  revival  to  draw 
women  from  their  sheltered  homes  to  teach  in  Sunday 
schools,  like  Hannah  More  and  Mrs.  Trimmer ;  to  visit 
prisons,  like  Sarah  Martin  and  Elizabeth  Fry  ;  to  become 
collectors  for  the  support  of  foreign  missions,  and  of  the  Bible 
Society  ;  to  become  "  class-leaders  "  in  the  meetings  of  the 
Methodists,  and  tract-distributors  on  behalf  of  both  Church 
and  Chapel.  It  was  the  closer  knowledge  thus  gained  of  the 
home  life  of  the  poor  which  led  to  the  establishment  of 
Dorcas-meetings  to  sew  garments  for  the  destitute,  and  of 
sick-visiting  societies  to  give  them  beef-tea  and  spiritual 
consolation.  The  conversion  of  the  individual  was  the  main 
point  in  the  minds  of  the  followers  of  Whitefield  and  Wesley  ; 
of  Newton,  Cecil,  and  "the  Clapham  sect."  Women  like 
Lady  Huntingdon  were  as  "mothers  in  Israel;"  the  stir  of 
a  deepened  life  touched  the  great  English  middle  and  working 
classes  ;  and  zeal  for  the  conversion  of  souls  was  mingled 
with  compassion  for  the  misery  of  the  prisoner  and  captive, 
and  for  the  lot  of  the  negro  in  our  West  Indian  possessions. 
The  outlook  had  widened. 

Yet  another  stream  of  tendency  may  be  traced  to  the 
later  revival  associated  with  the  names  of  Dr.  Pusey  and  of 
Keble,  of  Dr.  Neale  and  Isaac  Williams.  Men's  minds  turned 
back  to  "  the  ages  of  faith."  Poetry,  art,  fiction,  a  quickened 
admiration  for  the  architecture  of  the  Middle  Ages,  all  tended 

On  Associated  Work.  135 

to  increase  the  strong  desire  felt  for  "  the  religious  life,"  not 
only  in  daily  services  and  frequent  communions,  but  in  the 
entire  dedication  of  body,  soul,  and  spirit,  to  the  service  of 
God,  in  contemplation  and  active  duty.  Many  thought  their 
ideal  incompatible  with  ordinary  life.  No  "brotherhood  "  has 
as  yet  been  successfully  formed,  but  the  sisterhoods  of  the 
Anglican  Church  are  a  very  important  factor  in  its  economy. 
They  are  now  twenty-nine  in  number,  each  mother-house 
being  the  head-quarters  of  a  numerous  band  of  workers.  They 
have  sought  their  model  in  various  quarters,  and  their  rules 
are  diverse.  In  some  instances  the  sisters  are  individually 
blessed  and  received  into  the  order  by  the  Bishop  of  the 
diocese ;  others  are  more  conventual  and  self-contained. 
Besides  the  home  mission  work  in  the  streets  and  lanes  of 
our  cities,  in  orphanages,  schools,  hospitals,  penitentiaries,  in 
rescue  work  and  in  nursing,  four  sisterhoods  work  in  India, 
three  in  the  United  States,  and  one  at  Cape  Town.  Clewer 
alone  has  two  hundred  sisters,  and  has  helped  to  establish 
an  independent  sisterhood  in  New  York  ;  while  the  great 
community  of  All  Saints,  Margaret  Street,  London,  has 
founded  a  "coloured"  sisterhood  in  Baltimore,  U.S. ;  and  the 
sisters  of  Bethany,  a  mission  to  the  Nestorian  Christians  in 
Persia.  Thus  they  stretch  out  hands  of  love  to  East  and 
West,  content  to  serve  in  lowliest  ways  as  handmaids  of  the 
Church  and  of  humanity. 

The  order  established  at  Kilburn  in  the  north  of  London, 
and  known  as  "  The  Sisters  of  the  Church,"  owes  its  place  in 
popular  affection  very  largely  to  the  fact  that  it  systematically 
takes  the  public  behind  the  scenes,  as  month  by  month  it 
tells  what  it  is  doing  in  a  little  paper  entitled  Our  Work. 
Wonderful  work  it  is,  and  wonderfully  is  the  interest  felt  in 
it  sustained.  The  sisters  are  full  of  resource,  ready  to  sell 
old  clothes  and  old  books,  or  to  trudge  through  miry  streets 
to  sell  penny  portions  of  soup  and  halfpenny  slices  of 
pudding  to  the  unfortunate  men  who  stand  in  hundreds 
round  the  docks  and  wharves  by  the  Thames,  while  waiting, 
too  often  in  vain,  for  employment.  You  may  see  them  again 
at  Broadstairs,  the  breezy  little  place  on  the  Kentish  coast 
with  its  quaint  pier,  dear  to  Charles  Dickens  and  to  us  for 
his  sake.  There  they  are  with  their  three  hundred  sickly 

136  Woman  s  Jl fission. 

little  ones,  many  of  them  cripples  with  a  strong  likeness  to 
"Tiny  Tim,"  who  drink  in  lessons  of  love  and  goodness,  as 
well  as  pure  air,  in  the  bright  Convalescent  Home  with  its 
wide  verandah  which  stands  on  the  top  of  the  chalk  cliffs. 
Again  you  may  find  them  in  London  slums  teaching  poor 
women  to  help  themselves  by  giving  them  work  to  do,  and 
fair  pay  for  doing  it.  Under  the  burning  sky  of  Madras  they 
teach  "our  poor  relations,"  the  Eurasians.  At  home  their 
orphans,  drawn  from  the  very  lowest  and  poorest  class,  are 
"mothered"  until  they  are  twenty-one,  and  after  that  are 
sent  out  well  taught  and  trained  to  earn  their  living  as 
servants,  as  elementary  school  teachers,  or  as  assistant- 
matrons  in  the  sixty  houses  belonging  to  the  sisterhood.  It 
needs  much  money  to  support  their  five  orphanages,  thirteen 
day  schools,  three  convalescent  homes,  and  eleven  other 
branches  of  educational  work,  and  there  is  no  endowment. 
The  sisters  give  of  their  private  means  to  the  last  penny,  and 
they  are  helped  by  the  faithful.  The  work  never  slackens, 
is  always  growing,  and  never  has  to  stop  for  lack  of  funds. 
Who  can  say  that  the  age  of  faith  is  past? 

Some  thirty  years  since  a  quiet  movement  was  set  going 
in  the  Anglican  Church  with  the  object  of  reviving  the 
primitive  order  of  deaconesses  as  a  definite  part  of  its  system  ; 
and  at  the  present  time  there  are  eight  bodies  of  Church 
deaconesses,  working  under  the  direction  of  their  bishops  in 
the  dioceses  of  Ely,  London,  Rochester,  Chester,  Salisbury, 
and  Winchester.  Probationers,  who  must  be  educated  women 
of  undoubted  character,  receive  thorough  training  in  practical 
details,  and  due  religious  instruction,  for  at  least  two  years. 
Then,  if  approved,  they  are  set  apart  by  the  Bishop,  to  work 
in  a  parish  whether  in  town  or  country,  and  are  henceforth 
responsible  solely  to  him  and  to  their  parish  priest.  They 
are  thus  a  recognized  "  order "  in  the  sacred  ministry,  with 
work  as  varied  as  the  needs  of  the  parish  to  which  they  go. 
The  deaconess  is  very  often  a  hospital-trained  nurse,  but  she 
is  also  trained  for  "  the  cure  of  souls,"  and  is  very  valuable  as 
the  recognized  guide  and  leader  of  the  voluntary  helpers  in 
woman's  work  in  a  parish. 

In  the  north  of  England,  among  the  mining  villages  in 
the  diocese  of  Durham,  Canon  Body's  mission-ladies  live,  two 

On  Associated  Work.  137 

and  two,  among  the  people,  in  places  where  there  is  frequently 
no  resident  lady.  The  training  they  receive  is  very  similar 
to  that  of  the  deaconesses,  and  they  carry  on  the  same  kind 
of  work,  but  without  "  ordination "  or  recognized  status. 
When  in  receipt  of  a  salary,  it  is  usually  from  one-third  to 
one-half  of  that  ordinarily  received  by  the  assistant  clergy, 
and  is  only  sufficient  for  bare  maintenance  in  humble  lodgings. 

The  order  of  St.  Vincent  de  Paul  still  does  true  deaconess 
work  in  the  Church  of  Rome.  "  They  consist,"  says  its  Con- 
stitution, "  of  girls  and  of  widows  unencumbered  with  children, 
destined  to  seek  out  the  poor  in  the  alleys  and  streets  of 
cities ;  they  have  for  monastery  the  houses  of  the  sick  ;  for 
cell,  a  hired  room  ;  for  their  chapel,  the  parish  church  ;  for 
their  cloister,  the  streets  of  the  town  or  the  wards  of  the 
hospital ;  for  their  enclosure,  obedience  ;  for  grating,  the  fear 
of  God  ;  for  veil,  holy  modesty." 

There  is  room  for  the  deaconess,  the  counterpart  of  the 
"  sister  of  charity  "  in  the  Church  of  England,  ample  room 
for  the  ministry  of  women,  as  Church  officials  who  will  work 
loyally  with  those  in  authority.  At  present  there  is  a  great  need 
of  women  as  heads  of  training  institutions  to  meet  the 
demand  of  our  English  bishops  for  those  who  will  begin  this 
work  for  them. 

Undoubtedly  our  Anglican  sisterhoods  at  first  copied  very 
much  from  Roman  models,  and  were  somewhat  regardless 
of  whether  the  rules  and  customs  they  adopted  were  archaic, 
or  were  modern  innovations.  Broadly  speaking,  the  earlier 
orders  in  the  mediaeval  Church  were  formed  on  the  model 
of  the  family,  with  deference  and  obedience  due  to  the  head, 
but  with  much  regard  to  individuality.  The  model  of  the 
"  counter- Reformation  "  was  rather  that  of  a  regiment,  in 
which  each  member  is  under  strict  discipline.  Our  Anglican 
sisterhoods  have  each  their  own  "  rule,"  conforming,  more  or 
less,  to  these  varying  types.  This  the  world  recognizes,  so 
far  as  it  knows  anything  of  systems  which  do  not  thrust  them- 
selves upon  its  observation.  But  what  is  not  recognized  is  that 
some  of  the  most  intensely  Protestant  forms  of  community- 
life  owe  much  in  their  inception  to  the  Roman  religious  orders, 
even  if  they  do  not  trace  descent  from  them.  Thus  the 
Moravian  sisters  are  lineally  descended  from  the  Franciscan 


8  Woman  s  Mission. 

Tertiaries  of  the  Fourteenth  Century,  and  Pastor  Fliedner 
borrowed  freely  from  them,  from  the  B6guines,  and  the 
Society  of  St.  Vincent  de  Paul  in  founding  Kaiserwerth 
(in  1822),  which  now  has  its  roll  of  eight  thousand  Protestant 
deaconesses  working  over  the  whole  continent  of  Europe. 
No  name  on  that  roll  is  so  dear  to  English-speaking  folk  as 
that  of  Florence  Nightingale.  "  The  Lady  with  the  Lamp  " 
at  Scutari  has  never  ceased  to  bring  wise  counsels  to  bear 
upon  the  reforms  of  our  nursing  system  from  her  chamber  of 
sickness.  Our  trained  nurses,  some  twenty  thousand  in 
number,  owe  much  to  the  stimulus  of  her  example,  and  to 
her  constant  care  for  the  work  in  which  she  first  disciplined 
herself  at  Kaiserwerth. 

Kaiserwerth  has  one  small  branch  in  England,  the  un- 
denominational "  Deaconess "  Home  at  Tottenham,  but  we 
find  in  Mrs.  Meredith's  work  for  discharged  prisoners  and 
the  children  of  female  convicts,  and  in  the  great  centre  known 
as  "Mildmay,"  the  most  striking  proofs  that  association  for 
work  commends  itself  to  those  of  strictly  Evangelical  and 
Protestant  views.  Mrs.  Meredith  was  the  first  to  advocate 
cottage  homes  for  children  in  preference  to  huge  barrack-like 
institutions ;  while  to  recount  the  work  done  at  Mildmay 
would  be  simply  to  re-catalogue  much  which  is  common  to 
that  done  by  others  on  more  strictly  Church  lines.  The 
workers — deaconesses,  as  they  are  termed — live  in  a  mother- 
house,  and  mission  out  from  thence  in  eight  of  the  poorest 
and  lowest  districts  in  London.  Mrs.  Pennefather,  its  moving 
spirit,  who  has  just  been  laid  to  her  rest  (in  January,  1893), 
thought  this  relief  necessary  for  the  health,  both  physical  and 
mental,  of  those  who  had  been  on  duty  for  hours  among  the 
sights  and  sounds  and  smells  of  such  a  neighbourhood  as 
that  in  Bethnal  Green.  "  Five  thousand  seven  hundred 
people,"  says  the  Standard,  "  live  in  this  area  of  fifteen  acres. 
The  death-rate  is  forty  in  the  thousand  ;  infant  mortality, 
two  hundred  and  fifty-two  per  thousand.  There  are  seven 
hundred  and  thirty  houses  in  the  place,  of  which  seven 
hundred  and  fifty-two  rooms  are  let  out  as  single  tenements, 
nineteen  of  these  rooms  containing  five  or  more  inhabitants 
in  each."  Happily  it  has  been  condemned  as  unfit  for  habi- 
tation, and  will  soon  cease  to  exist.  A  large  proportion  of 

On  Associated  Work.  139 

the  £29,000  which  is  yearly  expended  on  the  good  work  of 
Mildmay  is  supplied  by  the  earnings  of  its  nurses,  the  gifts 
of  its  workers,  and  the  sale  of  the  very  beautiful  illuminations 
which  are  executed  by  two  of  their  number  as  a  labour 
of  love. 

Women  like  Mrs.  Meredith  and  Mrs.  Pennefather  typify 
the  Church  of  England  side  of  the  Evangelical  revival  of 
the  last  century,  which  has  never  ceased  to  be  largely  and 
ably  represented  among  us.  The  spirit  and  the  teaching  are 
the  same,  although  the  scope  of  their  efforts  has  been  greatly 
enlarged,  and  the  breath  of  the  "  Zeit  Geist "  has  passed  over 

Turning  to  the  present-day  representatives  of  the  great 
Methodist  body,  we  watch  with  interest  a  development,  with 
variations,  of  the  "  sisterhood  "  idea,  which  is  gaining  ground 
in  the  West  London  Mission  under  the  direction  of  Mrs. 
Hugh  Price  Hughes.  No  adhesion  is  required  to  any  standard 
of  doctrine ;  any  sister  is  free  to  work  out  her  own  ideas, 
provided  only  that  she  succeeds ;  and  though  a  becoming 
uniform  is  worn,  it  is  only  worn  when  on  duty.  The  sisters 
do  not  quit  the  world,  but  are  encouraged  to  take  an  active 
interest  in  social  questions,  including  municipal,  school  board, 
and  Parliamentary  elections,  helping  to  canvass  for  what  they 
consider  "the  right  side."  They  speak  at  outdoor  meetings, 
go  in  and  out  of  the  public-houses,  visit  room  by  room  in 
and  about  the  Seven  Dials,  and  are  a  cheery,  active  set  of 
good  women,  friendly  helpers  of  the  people  of  a  democratic 
sort,  and,  true  to  Methodist  traditions,  they  tell  the  "old, 
old  story  "  unweariedly,  feeling  that  "  the  soul  of  all  improve- 
ment is  the  improvement  of  the  soul."  The  Methodist 
sister  is  the  Anglican  district  visitor,  with  a  difference.  She 
chooses  her  own  work,  and,  if  her  home  be  outside  the 
metropolitan  area,  may  live  at  a  pleasantly  arranged  house 
which  is  a  centre  for  the  work  of  the  mission.  As  she 
takes  no  vows,  and  owes  no  one  allegiance  or  obedience, 
it  is  apparent  that  she  is  not  a  "  sister  "  in  any  ecclesiastical 

The  Baptists,  the  Primitive  Methodists,  and  the  Con- 
gregationalists  are  feeling  their  way  to  a  "forward"  move- 
ment of  a  somewhat  similar  kind.  This  will  afford  a  valuable 

140  Woman  s  Mission. 

outlet  for  some  of  the  daughters  of  prosperous  Nonconformist 
families,  and  give  orthodox  Dissent  a  more  real  touch  with 
the  everyday  life  and  difficulties  of  the  people. 

The  greater  number  of  the  women  whose  work  has  been 
cursorily  treated  thus  far,  are  members  of  the  upper  and 
middle  classes,  women  of  education  and  refinement,  and  ac- 
customed to  comfort,  if  not  to  luxury.  Very  many  are  giving 
not  only  personal  and  gratuitous  service,  but  large  gifts  of 
money,  which  have  enabled  their  communities  to  build 
hospitals,  convalescent  homes,  schools,  orphanages,  etc.,  with 
little  or  no  help  from  the  outside  public.  But  the  world  has 
a  use,  too,  for  the  women  of  lower  rank  and  less  cultivation, 
imbued  with  the  same  earnest  desire  to  do  good  as  their 
sisters  of  another  class,  whose  work  as  Parochial  Mission- 
women,  Church  Army  nurses,  Bible-women,  and  parish 
helpers,  is  of  immense  value.  They  live  as  the  poor  among 
the  poor.  They  know  their  ways  of  life,  their  habits  of 
thought ;  they  can  feel  with  them  as  well  as  for  them ;  they 
can  detect  imposture  ;  they  can  use  great  plainness  of  speech  ; 
they  can  be  a  most  valuable  link  between  the  ladies  who 
supervise  them  and  the  people  to  whom  they  go.  The  gulf 
more  difficult  to  bridge  than  any  other  is  that  between  the 
artisan  and  small  shopkeeper  and  the  unskilled  labourer. 
Mission-women,  drawn  chiefly  from  the  ranks  of  the  former, 
need  the  delicacy  and  tact  of  the  superintending  lady,  when 
they  are  sent  to  deal  with  the  latter.  Given  common  sense 
and  earnest  purpose  on  the  part  of  both  lady  and  mission- 
helper,  the  combination  is  almost  perfect,  and  the  results  of 
their  joint  work  of  the  most  satisfactory  kind. 

Of  course,  the  very  existence  of  professional  or  of  paid 
workers  opens  the  door  to  a  very  real  danger,  if  it  tempt  us 
to  regard  "the  service  of  humanity"  as  something  with  which 
the  woman  living  the  ordinary  life  of  home,  as  daughter, 
sister,  wife,  and  mother,  has  nothing  to  do  beyond  bidding 
it  "God-speed,"  and  giving  it  an  occasional  donation.  "The 
Society  of  Friends"  has  always  borne  its  testimony  to  the 
claim  of  women  to  an  equal  share  with  men  in  an  unpaid 
ministry,  which  must  be  exercised  by  those  who  are  led  to 
it  by  "the  inner  light,"  in  their  everyday  walk.  Its  women 
have  for  generations  fulfilled  every  duty  to  home  and  family, 

On  Associated  Work.  141 

while  they  have  also  spoken  at  meetings,  and  practised  habits 
of  business  which  make  them  excellent  members  of  com- 
mittees. They  show  us  how  women  may  take  part  in  affairs, 
and  yet  remain  among  the  quietest  and  most  womanly  of 
their  sex.  Unpretending  as  they  are,  there  is  no  body, 
numerically  so  small,  with  a  tithe  of  its  weight.  Twenty 
years  ago  "the  Friends"  were  diminishing  in  number.  There 
has  been  no  leakage  since  in  their  admirable  "First  Day" 
and  other  schools  ;  the  cultivated  young  people  from  refined 
Quaker  homes  have  found  that  they,  too,  had  a  mission  to 
the  less  favoured  classes. 

It  needs  a  distinct  effort  to  recall  the  fact  that  Quakerism 
had  a  stormy  youth,  and  that  on  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic 
it  long  suffered  unmerited  persecution.  We  wonder  what 
will  be  the  future  of  "  the  Salvation  Army,"  which  bears  so 
many  points  of  resemblance  to  it.  The  Salvation  Army 
professedly  deals  with  the  seamy  side  of  things  "in  a  re- 
making of  men  which  can  only  be  done  by  hand."  What 
does  it  not  owe  to  Catharine  Booth,  "the  Army  Mother," 
"a  born  prophetess  if  ever  there  were  one  in  the  world," 
whose  splendid  enthusiasm  and  intense  power  led  hundreds 
of  other  women  to  give  up  worldly  prospects,  "to  endure 
hardness,"  to  put  themselves  on  a  level  with  the  lowest,  "if 
by  any  means  they  might  save  some ! " 

"  Where  do  we  find  the  women  for  such  work  ?  "  asks  one 
of  its  leaders.  "  Not  usually  among  those  fished  up  them- 
selves out  of  the  deep  sea  of  sin.  Nor  usually  among  those 
too  daintily  born  and  bred."  A  dressmaker,  a  cook,  a  lady's- 
rnaid,  a  type-writer,  such  are  the  women  who  are  ready  to 
give  up  good  situations,  with  good  salaries,  and  the  prospect 
of  making  some  small  provision  for  old  age,  in  order  that 
they  may  enlist  in  the  "Slum  Brigade,"  and  take  up  their 
"post"  in  crowded  courts  and  by-streets  in  the  midst  of 
"  the  submerged." 

"  When  the  poor  souls  they  work  among  are  '  saved,' "  says 
Mrs.  Bramwell  Booth,  "they  find  themselves  welcomed  with 
joy  into  a  great  family  which  gives  friends  to  the  lonely  and 
friendless.  In  its  work  for  other  lost  ones  she  may  join,  and 
in  turn  its  leaders  will  watch  over  her ;  living  or  dying  they 
will  count  her  one  of  themselves." 

142  Woman  s  Mission. 

Surely  this  is  no  new  teaching.  Had  it  been  so  far  for- 
gotten that  we  needed  the  rise  of  the  Salvation  Army  to 
remind  us  of  our  membership  in  the  "one  body"  to  sin- 
stricken  and  suffering  humanity?  Did  we  need  to  be  taught 
that  there  are  higher  ideals  than  mere  ease,  comfort,  respect- 
ability, a  family  pew,  and  the  world's  praise — or  even  than 
"the  higher  culture"?  This  question  of  the  proletariat  is 
forced  upon  us  whether  we  will  or  no.  Such  people  as  these 
cannot  be  raised  en  masse ;  it  must  be  done  individually. 
We  shall  be  wise  if  we  can  bring  in  recruits  from  any  and 
every  grade,  and  give  to  them  also  a  share  in  the  world's 

Across  the  Tweed,  women's  work  is  differentiated  by  the 
fact  that  the  form  of  Church  government  is  Presbyterian,  and 
that  organization  is  mainly  on  Congregational  lines,  not  only 
among  members  of  the  Established  Church,  but  also  of  the 
Free  Church,  the  United  Presbyterians,  and  the  Episcopa- 
lians and  other  Nonconforming  bodies.  Several  societies 
which  in  England  are  worked  solely  by  members  of  the 
Anglican  Church  are  undenominational  in  Scotland.  Such 
are  the  Scotch  Girls'  Friendly  Society,  the  Mothers'  Union, 
and  the  "  Onward  and  Upward  Association,"  which  is  known 
in  England  as  "  The  Women's  Help  Society."  In  Scotland, 
as  in  England,  the  Young  Women's  Christian  Association 
bands  together  young  women  of  every  class  on  a  religious 
basis,  and  numbers  thousands  of  adherents.  Perhaps  the 
most  picturesque  bit  of  good  work  with  which  we  are  ac- 
quainted is  that  of  the  deaconesses  of  the  Church  of  Scot- 
land, who  follow  the  herring  along  its  northern  coast  in  order 
to  bind  up  the  cut  hands,  brighten  the  scanty  leisure,  and 
exercise  a  wise  and  loving  influence  over  the  migratory, 
bonnetless  lassies  who  crowd  into  the  little  fishing-villages 
during  the  herring  season.  In  Scotland,  as  in  England,  the 
number  of  ladies  working  in  connection  with  the  Girls' 
Friendly  Society,  the  Mothers'  Union,  the  Women's  Help 
Society,  in  Ladies'  Associations  for  the  care  of  Girls,  and 
in  countless  lesser  guilds  and  societies,  among  the  manifold 
duties  and  distractions  of  ordinary  life,  is  very  great.  Some 
can  give  but  fragments  of  time,  others  make  it  practically 
a  life-work.  It  is  a  rare  thing,  among  a  large  circle  of  our 

On  Associated  Work.  143 

best  and  most  cultivated  women,  to  come  across  one  who 
is  not  doing  something'  for  women  and  children,  for  lads  or 
for  men. 

It  is  not  only  women  of  English,  Welsh,  and  Scotch 
nationality  of  whom  this  can  be  said.  "  The  stranger  within 
our  gates  "  must  not  be  forgotten.  German  Lutherans,  French 
Protestants,  English  Jewesses,  are  alike  organized  for  self- 
sacrificing  effort. 

Jewish  charity  is  Talmudic  rather  than  Mosaic,  and  does 
not  begin  until  the  tithe  has  been  duly  paid  into  the  treasury 
of  God.  With  the  constant  pressure  from  Eastern  Europe 
due  to  Russian  persecution,  the  wealthier  among  them  have 
large  demands  made  upon  their  generosity  ;  but  the  immigrant, 
penniless  and  ignorant  of  the  English  language  though  he 
may  be,  is  never  long  either  penniless  or  ignorant.  The 
admirable  system  of  relief  of  the  Jewish  Board  of  Guardians 
helps  to  set  him  on  his  feet,  and  mother-wit,  and  habits  of 
thrift  pushed  to  the  point  of  penuriousness,  do  the  rest.  With 
wonderful  tenacity  and  industry,  the  Jew  is  constantly  better- 
ing his  position.  With  great  mental  ability  he  is  constantly 
finding  his  way  into  the  front  rank  of  commerce.  Made  a 
compact  body  by  tradition  and  by  centuries  of  persecution, 
the  Jews  have  been  trained  to  give  largely,  and  seem  equal 
to  all  demands  made  upon  them  by  their  poorer  brethren. 

The  work  of  the  Jewish  ladies  runs  parallel  with  our  own 
as  regards  methods.  The  sabbath  schools,  the  mission 
services,  the  girls'  clubs,  the  elementary  and  high  schools 
for  girls,  the  children's  happy  holidays  the  invalid  kitchen, 
the  needlework  guild,  the  personal  service  guild,  the  pre- 
ventive and  rescue  work,  are  all  conceived  and  carried  on 
with  sympathetic  insight,  and  much  common  sense  and  ability. 
One  very  characteristic  feature  is  the  Jewish  Ladies'  Loan 
Society,  which  has  worked  well  for  the  last  forty-six  years, 
and  has  met  with  marked  success.  It  assists  the  deserving 
poor  with  loans  of  money  without  interest  or  other  charge.  The 
sums  vary  from  ten  shillings  to  ten  pounds,  and  are  repaid  by 
weekly  instalments  of  one-twentieth  until  the  debt  is  liqui- 
dated. Two  ladies  in  rotation  from  the  committee  visit  the 
applicants,  and  if  they  think  them  fit  persons  give  them  letters 
of  recommendation  to  the  secretary  (a  paid  officer),  which 

144  Woman  s  Mission. 

are  exchanged  by  him  for  the  sum  of  money  lent.  No  new 
loan  is  granted  while  a  previous  loan  is  in  course  of  repay- 
ment, nor  is  any  person  entitled  to  a  loan  who  may  be 
indebted  for  an  advance  of  money  to  any  other  society. 
During  1892,  359  loans  were  granted,  the  loans  amounting  to 
£2032  icxr.,  the  repayment  being  ,£1908.  These  loans  have 
frequently  been  the  means  of  keeping  a  home  together,  or 
of  giving  a  hawker  or  small  tradesman  a  fresh  start  in  life, 
or  of  tiding  over  a  time  of  exceptional  sickness  and  distress. 
The  society  also  affords  the  lady  visitors  a  reasonable  ground 
for  visiting  the  poor  and  ascertaining  their  condition. 

The  good  offices  of  these  Jewish  ladies,  our  fellow-citizens, 
are  by  no  means  confined  to  their  co-religionists,  but  are  very 
largely  extended  also  to  the  Christians  among  whom  their 
lot  is  cast,  and  many  of  them  gladly  co-operate  in  efforts  for 
the  spread  of  education,  wholesome  recreation,  and  temperance 
with  Christian  workers. 

What  shall  we  say,  then,  of  the  work  so  barely  outlined, 
of  which  the  half  is  not  told  ?  It  is  evident  that  no  section 
of  the  community  has  a  monopoly  of  good  intentions,  of 
earnest  aspirations,  of  self-sacrificing  zeal.  It  is  evident  that 
we  must  allow  for  varying  idiosyncrasies,  for  the  different 
ways  of  looking  at  things  due  to  heredity,  to  environment,  to 
early  education  and  the  discipline  of  life.  We  cannot,  if  we 
would,  suppress  or  repress  these  varying  activities  and 
methods.  We  must  make  large  allowance  for  what  may 
seem  to  us  crude,  imperfect,  over-zealous,  or  done  in  ignorance 
of  higher  truth.  Human  beings  are  not  like  bits  of  a  Water- 
bury  watch  which  can  be  fitted  into  their  place  by  exactest 
mechanism.  Sometimes  they  only  find  their  true  place  after 
much  weary  effort.  In  these  days  of  many  organizations, 
no  one  need  stand  all  the  day  idle  because  others  will  not 
welcome  their  co-operation. 

It  is  also  tolerably  clear  that  the  majority  of  English- 
women work  best  in  combination,  and  that  the  stricter  the 
rule  the  more  it  attracts.  Anglican  sisterhoods  have  grown 
much  faster  than  the  freer  order  of  deaconesses  ;  the  Salva- 
tion Army  never  lacks  recruits,  while  it  is  often  difficult  to 
find  a  parish  mission-helper  or  institution  matron.  The 
societies  which  are  tied  with  the  greatest  amount  of  red  tape 

On  Associated  Work.  145 

increase   most    rapidly.      Women    grumble,   but    join,  and 
develop  esprit  de  corps. 

It  is  also  evident  that  the  world  has  need  of  the  ministra- 
tions of  women.  As  long  as  it  lasts,  children  must  be  taught, 
sick  people  nursed,  the  poor  visited  and  relieved,  dull  lives 
made  bright,  the  better  life  made  possible,  and  this  comes 
strictly  within  their  province. 

"  But  what  plan  gives  the  best  results  ?  "  it  is  asked.  "  Is 
there  not  a  great  waste  of  hard  cash,  some  six  millions  of 
pounds  sterling  spent  annually  in  charity  in  London  alone, 
and  a  never-ceasing  cry  of  '  Give,  give '  ?  To  whom  shall  we 
give,  and  through  whom,  and  how  ;  and  when  all  is  done — Cut 
bono  ?  "  What  can  we  say  ?  This — that  it  is  time  to  consider 
our  ways  ;  that  we  do  not  need  more  money,  but  rather  how 
to  apply  it ;  that  in  giving  money  we  must  give  ourselves  with 
it;  that  we  must  better  the  dwellings  of  the  people,  and  teach 
them  honest  work  for  which  we  will  give  a  fair  wage,  rather 
than  the  dole  of  money,  food,  or  clothing,  which  degrades  the 
recipient,  unless  it  be  given  as  from  friend  to  friend  ;  that  the 
giver  must  educate  herself  to  see  things  in  dry  light,  study 
the  working  of  the  laws  affecting  the  poor,  and  understand 
exactly  what  agencies  are  already  at  work  for  their  benefit, 
before  she  attempts  to  start  others.  There  is  a  deplorable 
amount  of  "  overlapping  "  in  some  quarters.  In  short,  a  woman 
worker,  whether  paid  agent  or  volunteer,  will  be  wise  if  she 
train  in  some  definite  and  specialized  way ;  if  the  latter,  after 
she  has  spent  some  probationary  years, — as  a  rule,  at  least 
five, — in  reading,  and  in  the  study  of  human  kind  as  near  as 
possible  to  her  own  home,  and  while  still  an  inmate  of  it.  She 
will  be  wise  if  she  does  this  unobtrusively  ;  in  the  mean  time 
not  neglecting  general  mental  cultivation,  nor  that  of  any  talent 
she  may  possess.  Nor  should  she  neglect  the  amenities  of  her 
own  social  circle.  It  is  not  only  in  benighted  villages  and  in 
the  slums  of  cities  that  "  sweetness  and  light "  are  needed. 

The  worker  should  try  to  study  causes  before  she  attempts 
to  deal  with  effects.  She  must  "  fence  the  precipice  at  the 
top  before  she  provides  an  ambulance  at  the  bottom."  She 
must  inspire  reverence  for  womanhood  and  shield  the  unpro- 
tected before  she  tries  to  rescue  the  fallen.  If  the  worker  be 
reasonable,  cultivated,  earnest,  with  some  experience  of  life, 


146  Woman 's  Mission. 

some  breadth  of  thought,  some  range  of  reading,  some  know- 
ledge of  society,  her  influence  will  be  far  wider  and  deeper 
than  if  she  rushes  without  consideration  into  practical  work, 
and  is  overwhelmed  by  its  demands  upon  her  time  and 
energies  before  her  nature  has  had  its  fair  chance  of  develop- 
ment. At  present,  although  we  number  our  "  workers " 
by  thousands,  the  really  first-rate  woman  is  not  easily  found 
when  some  position  of  trust  and  responsibility  has  to  be  filled. 
Waiting-time  is  not  necessarily  lost  time. 

If  the  cultivated  worker  be  wise,  she  will,  after  she  has 
herself  undergone  definite  training  in  the  second  stage  of  her 
probation,  give  of  what  she  has  received,  and  accept  all  the 
help  from  others  which  she  can  win  them  to  give  her  in  return. 
"  Generals  do  not  carry  their  own  despatches  ;"  there  is  abun- 
dant readiness  to  be  useful,  and  it  is  no  credit  to  trained 
workers  that  they  should  so  often  break  down  from  over- 
pressure. If  we  can  lead,  well  and  good ;  but  "  the  battle  is 
won  by  the  rank  and  file,  and  these  are  not  raw  recruits,  but 
trained  soldiers." 

It  is  interesting  to  notice  how,  gradually  but  very  surely, 
these  views  are  winning  their  way,  and  a  certain  change  is 
coming  over  the  direction  taken  by  some  of  our  most  thought- 
ful women  when  planning  their  future  work.  There  is  a 
lessened  desire  to  enter  sisterhoods  or  to  devote  themselves 
to  the  work  of  organized  societies,  because  in  everyday  life 
there  are  now  such  varied  opportunities  given  them  for  better- 
ing the  tone  of  society,  and  for  improving  the  condition  of  the 
poor.  Women  have  followed  the  lead  of  Miss  Octavia  Hill 
as  rent-collectors ;  they  join  local  committees  of  the  Charity 
Organization  Society,  they  look  after  boarded-out  children, 
they  start  girls'  clubs,  they  become  Poor-law  guardians. 
Hardly  a  girl  leaves  some  of  our  women's  colleges — e.g. 
Cheltenham  and  Westfield — without  interesting  herself  in 
some  aspect  of  philanthropy.  There  are  settlements  of 
women-students  under  able  guidance  in  Southwark,  at  May- 
field  House,  Bethnal  Green,  and  at  Victoria  Park.  We 
hardly  know  a  more  hopeful  sign  of  the  times  than  this,  of 
higher  education  regarded  as  a  means  to  greater  usefulness, 
rather  than  for  the  delectation  of  the  individual,  by  girls 
whose  modesty  and  teachableness  is  beyond  all  praise. 

On  Associated  Work.  147 

What  shall  we  say,  then,  in  conclusion  ?  Would  not  our 
best  workers  be  the  first  to  cry,  "  Not  as  if  we  had  already 
attained,  or  were  already  perfect "  ?  We  acknowledge  our 
faults,  our  want  of  cohesion,  our  over-great  absorption  in  our 
favourite  schemes,  our  tendency  to  get  into  a  groove,  our  in- 
sularity, our  almost  superstitious  belief  in  the  virtues  of  an 
office,  a  staff  of  clerks,  and  an  annual  report  But  we  humbly 
dare  to  hope  that  though  we  may  never  again  present  to  the 
world  "  the  pseudo-unity  of  external  arrangement,"  yet  that 
we  may  increasingly  realize  "the  inward  unity  of  a  living 
whole."  For  do  we  not  walk  by  faith,  though  sometimes  we 
walk  in  darkness  and  see  no  light  ?  Is  it  not  by  faith  in 
human  goodness,  faith  in  human  possibilities,  faith  in  God, 
that  we  spend  our  strength  and  do  not  count  it  wasted,  attack 
age-long  evils,  and  know  that  we  are  on  the  winning  side  ? 
On  both  sides  of  the  Atlantic  we  have  our  muster-roll  of 
"  heroines  of  faith,"  and  all  unnoted  they  are  by  our  side 
to-day — the  Nineteenth  Century  saints — sisters,  deaconesses, 
"  Friends,"  Salvationists,  wives,  mothers,  daughters  ;  in  city, 
town,  hamlet,  and  lonely  farm ;  in  fashionable  dress  and 
homely  garb  ;  set  in  high  places,  or  far  removed  from  the 
world's  praise  or  blame  ;  whose  hearts  thrill  as  they  think  of 
its  many  needs,  and  are  gladdened  as  their  eyes  are  opened 
to  see  what  an  exceeding  great  company  is  doing  battle  for 
the  right. 

Nor  do  we  despair  of  a  closer  approximation  on  the  part 
of  women  engaged  in  various  ways  in  these  ventures  of  faith. 
In  some  of  our  large  cities,  in  Liverpool,  Birmingham,  Shef- 
field, Glasgow,  Aberdeen,  a  Union  of  Women  Workers  has 
established  itself  which  brings  them  together  periodically 
for  mutual  consultation.  In  Liverpool,  for  example,  these 
quarterly  meetings  are  attended  by  ladies  on  some  forty  to 
fifty  committees,  and  their  deliberations  have  already  affected 
public  opinion  to  a  marked  extent.  The  way  has  been 
smoothed  for  the  appointment  of  women  Poor-law  guardians, 
the  excessive  hours  of  work  exacted  from  female  pupil- 
teachers  have  been  lessened,  the  younger  ladies  have  been 
impressed  with  the  importance  of  whole-heartedness  in  work, 
the  public  has  learned  a  new  respect  for  the  capacity  of 
women.  The  union  affords  an  education  to  its  members, 

148  Woman's  Mission. 

exacts  no  new  work,  no  new  subscription  ;  it  does  not  in  any 
way  interfere  with  their  perfect  independence,  and  welcomes 
all  engaged  or  interested  in  women's  work  without  distinction 
of  class  or  of  creed.  Each  local  union  is  asked  to  furnish 
the  Central  Council  with  full  information  as  to  the  work  done 
within  its  area.  Its  president  joins  this  council,  which  is 
organized  on  the  same  broad  plan,  and  has  an  inquiry  office 
and  bureau  in  Lower  Belgrave  Street,  London,  which  under- 
takes to  focus  and  redistribute  all  information  which  may 
tend  to  promote  the  physical,  mental,  moral,  and  religious 
welfare  of  women. 

We  hope  that  branches  of  the  National  Union  of  Women 
Workers  may  be  quickly  formed  in  India  and  the  British 
colonies,  and  that  we  may  be  able  to  get  into  touch  with 
similar  bodies  of  workers  in  every  land,  so  that  we  may  know 
at  once  where  to  turn  for  information,  advice,  and  help, 
especially  when  the  welfare  of  women  and  children  is  con- 
cerned. We  very  earnestly  beg  for  the  co-operation  of  our 
sister  workers  in  America,  and  trust  that  this  unique  oppor- 
tunity for  the  interchange  of  experience  afforded  by  the 
Philanthropic  Congress,  held  during  the  great  World's  Fair  at 
Chicago,  may  lead  to  lasting  and  far-reaching  results. 

(     149     ) 

BY  Miss  MARY  H.  STEER. 

IT  is  not  possible  to  overrate  the  value  of  woman's  work 
and  influence  in  this  branch  of  philanthropic  and  Christian 
usefulness.  There  is  no  work  among  our  fallen  sisters  that 
more  needs  the  services  of  their  own  sex  than  that  of  helping 
them  to  rise  once  more,  and  from  the  depths  of  their 
degradation  to  attain  the  level  of  an  honest  and  useful  life. 

I  will  endeavour  to  give  a  short  sketch  of  the  general 
system  of  rescue  work  as  carried  on  in  London  particularly ; 
and  by  this  I  mean  woman's  rescue  work  among  women, 
as  distinct  from  penitentiary  and  preventive  work. 

Our  object  is  the  rescue  of  women,  girls,  and  children 
from  an  immoral  and  degrading  life,  and  often  it  is  possible 
to  restore  those  of  the  better  class  to  their  families  and 

Among  the  many  societies  and  associations  which  have 
for  their  aim  the  rescue  of  young  women,  perhaps  it  may  be 
well  to  give  as  an  example  the  methods  of  work  employed 
by  the  Female  Mission  to  the  Fallen,  whose  chief  office  is  at 
the  Reformatory  and  Refuge  Union,  Charing  Cross.  This 
is  the  central  place  of  reference  and  advice  for  rescue 
workers,  whether  they  are  working  in  connection  with  the 
Union  or  not. 

Outdoor  rescue  work  is  the  largest  and  most  varied  of 
all  woman's  work  among  the  fallen,  and  includes  visitation 
of  the  streets,  etc.,  attendance  at  the  police  courts,  visitation 
of  the  prisons,  visitation  of  lodging-houses,  visitation  of  work- 
houses, visitation  of  hospitals. 

At  the  office  in  Charing  Cross  are  kept  the  registers  of 

150  Woman 's  Mission. 

many  thousand  cases  that  have  been  dealt  with  from  time  to 
time.  Here  also  is  prepared  quarterly  a  list  of  women  who 
gain  entrance  into  homes  for  the  purpose  of  doing  mischief; 
professing  penitence,  they  seek  to  draw  away  those  who  are 
really  penitent.  The  managers  of  homes  throughout  the 
kingdom  receive  periodically  such  particulars  as  may  be 
helpful  to  them  in  recognizing  these  mischief-makers  when 
they  apply,  so  that  should  they  be  admitted  they  may  be 
treated  with  that  caution  and  firmness  which  are  most 
likely  to  conduce  to  their  reformation,  and  thus  prevent  their 
evil  influence  ruining  the  other  inmates. 

Information  about  the  homes  and  about  the  work  is 
collected  and  tabulated  and  made  available  for  any  one 
carrying  on  missionary  efforts  among  the  fallen.  Quite 
recently  a  detailed  list  of  all  the  Homes  and  Refuges  for  the 
Fallen  in  the  United  Kingdom  has  been  published,  showing 
the  address  of  each  home,  the  class  received,  the  terms  of 
admission,  the  number  of  inmates,  the  name  and  address 
of  the  honorary  secretary  and  of  the  superintendent  or 
matron,  etc. 

By  this  mission  London  has  been  divided  into  seven 
districts  for  the  purpose  of  periodical  visitation  by  the 
missionaries  of  the  Female  Mission  to  the  Fallen.  To  each 
of  these  districts  there  is  appointed  at  least  one  missionary, 
and  in  some  a  mission-house  has  also  been  established. 

Quoting  from  their  report,  it  may  be  well  to  note  that 
rescue  work  is  of  such  a  varied  character  that  it  is  difficult 
to  convey  any  adequate  idea  of  it  as  a  whole ;  but  four 
general  aspects  of  it  may  be  taken  in  connection  with  this 
mission :  the  office  work,  the  outdoor  work,  the  mission- 
house  work,  and  the  work  done  by  the  training-homes. 

An  active  branch  of  outdoor  work  is  visitation  of  the 
streets.  It  is  held  that  every  fallen  woman  in  London  should 
know  of  a  friend  to  whom  to  turn  for  help  when  desirous  to 
lead  a  better  life.  One  of  the  methods  is  to  distribute  tracts 
by  the  missionaries  of  various  societies  and  homes  nightly  in 
the  streets  and  parks  ;  and  at  the  end  of  each  tract  is  written 
the  name  and  address  of  the  friend  who  will  welcome  a  visit 
from  any  wandering  sister,  and  will  gladly  help  her  to  for- 
sake her  evil  life.  In  many  cases  cards  are  given,  simply 

Rescue  Work  by  Women  among  Women.       151 

bearing  the  name  and  address  of  the  mission  or  of  the  helper, 
accompanied  with  a  few  kind  and  friendly  words.  Any  one 
accustomed  to  go  into  the  streets  for  this  purpose  is,  in  course 
of  time,  able  to  detect  any  new  faces  that  she  meets  with  ; 
these  are  the  most  hopeful. 

In  the  War  Cry,  the  organ  of  the  Salvation  Army,  the 
following  paragraph  is  inserted  : — 

"  To  THE  DISTRESSED. — Any  poor  girl  in  need  of  a  friend  may  write  to  Mrs. 
Bramwell  Booth,  259,  Mare  Street,  Hackney,  London,  who  will  try  and  help  or 
give  advice  where  possible.  The  Salvation  Army  also  invites  parents,  relations, 
and  friends  in  any  part  of  the  world  interested  in  any  woman  or  girl  who  is 
known  or  feared  to  be  living  in  immorality,  or  is  in  danger  of  coming  under  the 
control  of  immoral  persons,  to  write,  stating  full  particulars,  with  names,  dates, 
and  addresses  of  all  concerned,  and,  if  possible,  a  photograph  of  the  person  in 
whom  the  interest  is  taken.  All  letters,  whether  from  these  persons  or  from 
such  women  or  girls  themselves,  will  be  regarded  as  strictly  confidential.  They 
may  be  written  in  any  language,  and  should  be  addressed  to  Mrs.  Bramwell 
Booth,  259,  Mare  Street,  Hackney,  London." 

This  paragraph  is  also  repeated  in  the  paper  in  the 
French  and  German  languages. 

The  rescuing  medium  of  the  Salvation  Army  has  now 
become  so  well  known  that  for  the  last  two  years  they  have 
stopped  systematic  outdoor  rescue  work ;  i.e.  going  out  to 
seek  rescue  cases  pure  and  simple,  as  so  many  of  these  cases 
come  into  their  hands  that  their  receiving-houses  are  already 
overcrowded ;  but  their  agencies  visit  houses  in  systematic 
rescue  work  in  the  provinces,  where  the  local  cases  are  fewer 
to  deal  with. 

In  its  laundry  and  factory-visiting,  the  Army  has  to 
deal  with  mixed  cases  of  rescue  and  preventive  work  ;  and 
in  their  slum  work  the  officers  come  across  rescue  cases,  but 
do  not  now  seek  them  out  as  a  speciality. 

With  the  visitation  of  the  common  lodging-houses  of 
London  is,  perhaps,  connected  the  most  difficult  part  of 
rescue  work.  In  distributing  tracts  nightly,  the  missionary 
seeks  every  opportunity  of  conversing  with  some  of  the 
women,  and,  if  possible,  of  obtaining  an  address  where  they 
can  be  seen  in  the  daytime.  They  do  not  readily  give  an 
address,  and  when  they  do,  it  is  too  often  a  false  one,  or  one 
at  which  no  access  is  to  be  gained  to  the  poor  woman  by  any 
one  suspected  of  having  really  good  intentions  towards  her. 
Some  of  the  missionaries  gain  access  to  the  common  lodging- 
houses,  where  there  are  always  women  of  the  class  we  are 

152  Woman  s  Mission. 

seeking  to  save.  Much  tact  has  to  be  exercised  in  the  use  of 
this  privilege.  If  the  missionary  has  some  flowers  to  dis- 
tribute, she  can  more  readily  gain  a  hearing,  and  so  simple 
a  ruse  may  well  be  regarded  as  justifiable  in  facilitating  the 
efforts  of  the  seeker  after  these  lost  ones. 

The  system  used  is  to  catch  the  women  about  ten  in  the 
morning,  before  they  are  up,  or  from  five  to  seven  in  the 
evening,  when  they  are  dressing  to  go  out.  The  workers 
go  into  the  houses  with  flowers  or  pictures,  and  if  the  worker 
gets  a  chance,  she  will  persuade  a  girl  to  come  outside  and 
have  a  talk,  as  there  are  always  old  women  watching  over 
the  younger  ones  to  prevent  their  being  taken  away  from 
them,  and  it  is  these  old  crones  who  are  the  dangerous 
enemies  of  the  workers. 

A  missionary  told  me  just  lately  that  she  has  succeeded 
in  speaking  to  some  of  these  girls  who  are  living  in  what  are 
called  "  the  doubles,"  i.e.  those  lodging-houses  intended  for 
the  use  of  couples,  the  keepers  of  which  make  no  inquiries, 
and  it  is  needless  to  say  that  the  marriage  bond  rarely  links 
the  men  and  women  who  frequent  them.  The  missionary 
has  pleaded  with  a  girl  three  months  without  effect,  and  at 
last  she  has  come  to  say  they  are  willing  to  be  married. 
The  missionary  has  frequently  bought  the  penny  or  two- 
penny wedding-ring  and  lent  the  woman  clothes  for  the 

The  most  hopeful  class  in  rescue  work  are  the  women 
with  illegitimate  children  ;  but  there  is  always  great  difficulty 
in  providing  for  a  woman  who  has  her  child  to  maintain,  as  so 
few  missions  provide  a  shelter  for  women  with  their  babies, 
and  this  is  a  great  want  in  the  work.  A  home  for  this  class 
of  women  and  their  infants  will  be  found  among  the  branches 
of  our  own  mission. 

Another  form  of  outside  work  is  among  those  who  are 
placed  in  the  hospitals — many  of  these  women  coming  to  the 
various  homes  in  a  very  feeble  and  diseased  state  of  health. 
This  is  carried  on  very  largely  in  almost  all  the  Lock  Wards 
of  our  hospitals  and  infirmaries ;  it  is  so  much  easier  to  get 
hold  of  these  poor  girls  during  the  time  of  their  illness  and 
weakness,  as  they  are  then  so  much  more  amenable  to  kind- 
ness, and  a  very  large  proportion  of  cases  in  our  homes  come 

Resciie  Work  by  Women  among  Women.       153 

to  us  through  influence  gained  over  them  during  sickness 
by  lady  visitors.  We  may  perhaps  mention  that  a  small 
hospital  has  been  opened  by  the  National  Vigilance  Associa- 
tion especially  for  these  cases,  the  committee  and  the  entire 
staff — doctors  as  well  as  nurses — being  ladies. 

In  order  that  the  general  working  system  of  a  rescue 
mission  may  be  clearly  understood,  I  have  been  asked  to 
write,  as  concisely  as  I  can,  a  short  sketch  showing  how  this 
mission  began  and  how  it  has  attained  its  present  scope  and 
influence,  to  make  clear  our  aims  and  purposes,  and  to  show 
something  of  the  practical  working  of  our  system  at  the 
Bridge  of  Hope,  Ratcliff  Highway,  London. 

Our  work  is  Christian,  but  undenominational.  It  is  purely 
a  mission  from  women  to  women,  girls,  and  children,  and  was 
from  the  first  only  for  those  of  the  very  lowest  social  scale. 
These,  at  the  time  this  work  began,  were  precisely  the  least 
aided  and  the  most  difficult  to  help.  I  am  glad  to  say  that 
our  endeavours  have  been  so  encouraged  and  sustained  that, 
beginning  with  six  young  women  of  the  locality  in  which 
our  home  is  situated,  we  are  enabled  to  count  by  hundreds 
those  who  now  pass  yearly  through  our  hands. 

For  the  beginning  of  this  work  I  must  go  back  thirteen 
years.  It  was  in  1879  that  I  went  to  the  Ratcliff  High- 
way, which  was  then  one  of  the  worst  parts  of  all  the 
East  End  of  London,  and  one  which  was  at  that  time  but 
little  known  except  to  police  and  the  resident  clergy  or  City 
missionaries.  I  wished  to  live  among  these  people,  to  help 
them  where  they  stood  ;  feeling  that  to  attain  any  lasting 
practical  good  we  must  get  a  fuller  comprehension  of  the 
social  atmosphere  of  their  own  individual  lives,  so  as  better 
to  judge  of  their  weaknesses,  temptations,  and  sins  from  their 
own  standpoint,  and  amid  the  pressure  of  their  own  daily 
surroundings ;  realizing  that  this  method  alone  would  enable 
one  to  judge  more  wisely  what  help  to  give,  when  to  give  it, 
and  under  what  circumstances  to  make  exceptions  to  usual 
rules.  Without  this  merging  of  our  own  lives  into  theirs,  and 
a  serious  and  practical  study  of  the  world  in  which  these 
poor  degraded  ones  live,  we  shall  never  make  the  headway 
we  desire  in  saving  what  are  called  the  "  lapsed  classes." 
The  lower  classes  cannot  gain  much  help  from  those  of  a 

154  Woman's  Mission. 

higher  social  level,  unless  fundamental  knowledge  of  their 
wants  and  capabilities  is  first  gained  by  those  who  would 
work  for  the  benefit  and  advantage  of  those  they  seek  to 
help.  This  is  why  casual  visiting  among  the  poor  is  so  often 
of  such  little  avail  in  spite  of  well-meant  efforts. 

The  first  simple  step  I  took  to  get  hold  of  the  women  I 
wanted  was  to  go  out  into  the  Highway  and  the  bad  neigh- 
bourhood around  and  ask  some  of  the  girls  to  come  and  have 
tea  with  me.  Objections  would  be  raised,  "  We've  got  our 
knitting  to  do,"  etc. ;  but  I  used  to  say,  "  Well,  bring  your 
knitting  with  you,"  and  so  by  degrees  I  prevailed  and  they 
would  come — a  little  afraid  of  being  preached  at,  and  a  little 
anxious  to  know  what  I  was  going  to  do. 

After  tea  we  would  talk  on  all  manner  of  subjects,  and 
I  would  do  my  best  to  amuse  and  interest  my  audience — 
bringing  in  gradually  a  few  words  of  advice  and  simple 
friendliness,  letting  them  feel  that  a  friend,  who  would  be  a 
friend  in  need,  was  living  in  their  midst,  whose  only  desire 
was  to  help  them  in  their  weary  lives,  and  to  aid  them  to 
mount  to  something  higher.  A  little  prayer,  a  little  reading 
were  got  in  by  degrees,  and  so  with  patience  and  constant 
gentle  pushing  this  difficult  pioneer  work,  which  is  always  the 
hardest,  progressed. 

By  degrees  a  few  workers  joined  me,  and  our  little  band 
grew.  My  hands  were  strengthened  by  co-operation,  and  the 
poor  people  for  whom  we  were  striving  day  by  day  became 
slowly  accustomed  and  attached  to  us. 

I  took  a  little  house  in  Prince's  Square,  just  out  of  the  High- 
way, large  enough  to  receive  six  young  women,  and  from  that 
time  to  this  I  am  thankful  to  say  we  have  never  been  in  debt, 
though  we  have  been,  and  are  often,  in  sore  straits  to  carry  on 
our  labour  of  love.  The  mission  is  entirely  supported  by 
voluntary  contributions  ;  and  when  at  times  we  have  been 
forced  to  make  an  occasional  appeal,  the  response  has  been 
generous  and  hearty,  as  I  am  sure  it  would  be  in  any  country  ; 
for  a  national  heart  is  always  a  charitable  one. 

In  1884  we  were  able  to  take  three  houses  in  Betts  Street, 
and  turn  them  into  a  Refuge,  from  which  our  present  large 
mission  building  has  grown.  One  of  these  was  an  old  public- 
house,  the  Sugar  Loaf,  of  far  and  ill-famed  notoriety,  and  the 

Rescue  Work  by  Women  among  Women.       155 

two  adjoining  houses  were  both  of  bad  repute.  These  also 
comprised  a  spacious  room  in  the  rear  that  had  been  a 
dancing-saloon,  and  this  has  been  transformed  into  our  bright 
little  mission  hall. 

Betts  Street,  when  we  first  began,  contained  thirty-five 
houses  of  the  worst  possible  repute,  and  it  was  certainly  not 
a  safe  thoroughfare  long  after  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon. 
Before  that  hour  its  inhabitants  were  for  the  greater  part 

The  work  is  now  divided  into  three  distinct  branches  :  ist. 
The  Night  Shelter,  or  the  work  among  destitute  women ; 
2nd.  Rescue  Work  among  fallen  women  carried  on  in  the 
Refuge ;  and  3rd.  The  Preventive  Work  among  little  girls 
who  have  been  born  among  the  very  worst  surroundings. 

The  number  of  women  and  girls  who  have  passed  through 
the  "  Bridge  of  Hope  "  is  as  follows  : — 

Rescue  cases.       Preventive  Total. 


1880-1     no    37     147 

1881-2 131  26  157 

1882-3 I83  59  242 

1883-4 221   85   306 

1884-5  273  93  366 

1885-6 274  125  399 

1886-7 287  135  422 

1887-8 204  93  297 

1888-9 265  122 387 

1889-90 222       l82       404 

1890-1     254    176    430 


Night's  lodgings. 

1885-6 1738 

1886-7 1007 

1887-8 1027 

1888-9 6072 

1889-90 5855 

1890-1 5201 

It  may  be  said  that  our  numbers  do  not  seem  larger  in 
proportion  now  ;  let  it  be  remembered,  therefore,  that  now 
we  keep  and  train  and  educate,  where  at  first  we  passed  on 
elsewhere.  The  cases  that  only  stay  a  few  nights  are  now 
included  in  the  Night  Shelter  list. 

Perhaps  some  idea  of  the  mission  house  as  a  building 

156  Woman's  Mission. 

would  be  of  practical  use.  One  division  is  the  Night 
Shelter  ;  the  larger  portion  forms  the  Refuge  for  Women  and 
a  Home  for  the  workers,  with  the  laundry  whic^i  occupies  the 
whole  of  the  highest  floor  of  the  building.  We  have  also  our 
industrial  branches  in  the  Home  of  Needle-work  and  Dress- 
making, and  the  Knitting  Department,  where  machine  knitting 
is  carried  on  as  a  trade.  Last  year  we  earned  just  £600. 
The  whole  was  erected  and  furnished  at  the  total  cost  of 
£$479  i8s.  lod.  The  preventive  work  is  carried  on  in  cottage 
homes  situated  at  a  distance  from  the  refuge.  Besides  this 
there  is  a  small  Servants'  Lodge  for  girls  out  of  place  who 
have  passed  through  the  Home,  and  there  is  also  a  Home  for 
Mothers  and  their  poor  little  babies.  There  is  room  for  nine 
girls  in  the  Servants'  Lodge,  and  in  the  other  house  there  is 
room  for  seven  mothers  and  their  infants.  The  contributions 
of  two  ladies  more  than  cover  the  rent  and  taxes  of  the 
Mothers'  Cottage,  and  to  the  kindness  of  two  other  friends 
we  are  indebted  for  the  money  which  covers  the  rent  and 
taxes  of  the  Servants'  Lodge.  Both  these  houses  are  at 

In  speaking  of  the  work  we  must  begin  first  with  the 
Night  Shelter.  In  the  "  Bridge  of  Hope  "  Night  Shelter  we 
have  accommodation  for  eighteen ;  and  it  is  as  much  as  we  can 
efficiently  do  to  help  this  steady  influx  of  eighteen  human 
souls  coming  freshly  every  day,  and  always  needing  advice, 
help,  and  sympathy.  Sickness,  loss  of  work,  and  winter 
weather  bring  to  destitution  a  large  number  of  women  who 
drift  into  the  shelter,  not  knowing  where  to  turn.  They 
come  at  all  hours,  and  are  given  a  bed  free  of  charge,  sleep 
safely  and  soundly  until  the  next  morning,  when  we  hear 
their  story,  take  pains  to  verify  it,  and  then  give  what  help 
seems  urgent  or  necessary  for  the  case. 

It  is  pitiful  to  think  what  a  little  practical  help  will  some- 
times suffice  to  give  fresh  impetus  and  courage  to  a  human 
life.  Sometimes  it  is  a  poor  sewing-girl  who  has  lost  her  all, 
and  has  not  even  the  necessary  implements  to  carry  on  her 
trade,  though  she  is  willing  to  work  honestly  and  hard  for 
the  terribly  low  wages  which  suffice  for  livelihood.  Here,  a 
pair  of  scissors  and  a  thimble  give  heart  and  hope  to  the 
poor  despairing  worker,  and  off  she  goes,  cheered  by  kindly 

Rescue  Work  by  Women  among  Women.       157 

words  and  friendly  wishes,  hugging  her  treasure  and  quite 
ready  to  begin  again  that  hard  struggle  for  life.  Then  again, 
having  made  a  fresh  beginning,  many  of  our  poor  women 
bring  their  wages  for  us  to  take  care  of  until  a  little  sum  is 
gained  with  which  they  can  make  a  really  good  and  more 
practical  start. 

Here  is  a  very  fair  example  of  the  work  we  are  always 
doing.  A  poor  woman  and  her  little  daughter  of  thirteen 
came  to  the  shelter  about  two  years  ago.  The  woman  was 
a  good  hand  at  her  trade,  gentlemen's  tie-making,  but  had 
been  very  ill,  and  obliged  at  last  to  seek  refuge  in  the  work- 
house infirmary.  When  she  got  better  she  heard  of  our 
shelter,  and,  taking  her  discharge  with  her  little  girl,  came  to 
our  door.  After  due  investigation,  we  offered  to  receive  the 
girl  into  one  of  our  homes,  and  give  the  mother  free  lodgings 
until  she  could  get  back  her  work.  She  obtained  work,  but 
not  one  penny  did  she  spend  without  consulting  her  kind 
friend  the  Night  Shelter  superintendent.  She  bought  boots 
and  calico,  and  made  herself  some  underlinen,  and  then 
bought  tidy  clothes  until  her  wardrobe  was  replenished  and 
she  got  back  her  old  feelings  of  self-respect.  Then  one  by 
one  articles  of  furniture  were  bought  for  a  little  room  until 
the  "  home  "  was  gathered  again.  Soon  after  we  sent  her 
back  her  little  girl,  whom  she  taught  her  own  trade.  Since 
then  she  has  prospered  greatly  in  her  business,  and  has  now 
six  employees  working  under  her. 

So  many  touching  memories  crowd  upon  us  that  we  could 
write  a  book  of  thrilling  incidents  stranger  than  fiction  ; 
but  we  have  learned  to  measure  something  of  the  temptations 
from  which  these  poor  women  fled,  and  to  know  how,  in  the 
fierce  struggle  of  this  great  teeming  city  of  ours,  many  aspira- 
tions after  something  better,  a  higher  life,  fall  withered  and 
crushed.  Many  who  come  to  us,  without  a  helping  hand 
would  have  no  resource  but  the  workhouse  or  a  life  of  sin.  I 
am  certain  that  no  one  among  us  would  ever  have  courage 
to  cast  the  "  first  stone  "  if  we  could  know  the  awful  straits 
which  bring  so  many  of  our  sisters  into  sin.  A  lady  once 
said  to  me,  "  Call  them  knocked-doivn  women  if  you  will,  but 
not  fallen."  I  wish  more  in  her  position  had  as  clear  an 
understanding  of  facts,  and  more  hands  would  be  stretched 

158  Woman's  Mission. 

out  to  help  us  in  practical  ways  with  individual  cases  as  she 
has  done. 

Many  of  the  cases  which  come  to  the  Night  Shelter  are 
poor  women  who  probably  never  were  first-class  "  hands  ; " 
and  generally  some  weakness  or  defect  keeps  them  from 
earning  first-class  wages,  and  yet  so  many  are  honest  and 
willing  to  work.  Dealing  with  these  it  is  which  is  our  hardest 
and  most  heart-breaking  work.  I  never  know  how  we  are 
able  to  help  these  poor  creatures,  and  we  can  never  speak  of 
it  in  a  wholesale  way  ;  yet  one  after  another  gets  a  hand  up, 
a  door  opens,  a  place  is  found,  hope  returns,  and  from  among 
these  desolate  ones  a  rich  harvest  is  gathered  in.  It  is  help- 
ing those  willing  to  help  themselves  which  is  the  point  and 
ambition  of  our  work  ;  and  there  are  so  sadly  many  of  them, 
here  and  everywhere,  who  are  only  too  willing  to  work  and 
start  afresh,  but  who  do  not  know  how  to  set  about  it,  and 
here  it  is  that  our  experience  and  power  of  influence  come  in. 

Many  children — runaways  or  brought  to  us  by  the  police 
or  some  kindly  person — come  to  us  through  the  Night 
Shelter  doors.  Besides  the  casual  help  we  thus  render,  there 
are  many  who,  homeless,  tradeless,  and  often  friendless,  are 
willing  to  enter  the  Refuge  and  go  through  the  routine  and 
training  of  our  Home.  We  find  out  for  which  branch  of 
work  they  have  the  most  aptitude  or  inclination — kitchen, 
laundry,  needle-room  or  knitting-room,  or  again  housework  ; 
and  so  they  start  and  work  steadily  on  until  they  are  able  to 
go  out  into  the  world  once  more. 

In  the  Home  and  Refuge  the  work  is  entirely  among  the 
so-called  fallen.  I  can  scarcely  say  fallen  women,  because 
the  larger  number  are  in  their  teens,  many  only  fourteen  and 
fifteen  years  of  age.  Many  people  talk  as  if  these  women 
were  never  really  reformed.  From  my  experience  I  can 
speak  in  a  very  different  strain.  I  can  recall  the  faces  of 
large  numbers  who,  coming  into  this  house  from  the  very 
depths  of  sin,  are  now  leading  honest,  useful,  nay,  in  many 
instances,  I  may  say  noble  and  heroic  lives. 

As  I  have  said,  apart  from  the  mother-home,  we  have 
five  children's  homes,  which  are  entirely  for  work  among 
children.  The  first  Bridge  House  is  our  Receiving  Home, 
and  is  situated  in  London  ;  the  second  is  at  Redhill,  and  the 

Rescue  Work  by  Women  among  Women.       159 

third  at  Highgate.  One  for  delicate  children,  situated  on 
the  banks  of  the  Thames  near  Southend,  is  considerably 
helped  by  the  young  ladies  in  the  Rev.  F.  B.  Meyer's  con- 
gregation, who  meet  every  week  to  work,  and  sell  their 
needlework,  for  the  benefit  of  the  children.  One  of  the 
children's  homes  at  Ticehurst,  called  the  Haven,  was  given 
and  furnished  for  us  by  a  kind  friend  of  the  work ;  and,  as 
the  cottage  is  situated  on  her  own  estate,  she  is  enabled  to 
gratify  her  warm  interest  in  it  by  helping  personally  in  the 
superintendence.  We  never  keep  a  bed  empty  in  these 
preventive  homes.  A  young  girl,  however  naughty  she 
may  be,  is  not  turned  back  if  it  is  possible  to  take  her  in, 
and  especially  if  she  comes  from  the  dangers  of  a  poor  over- 
crowded East  End  home. 

The  daily  papers  are  perhaps  the  best  witnesses  of  the 
need  there  is  for  saving  the  young.  There  is  scarcely  a  case 
made  public,  but  we  could  produce  a  parallel.  We  must  not, 
dare  not,  sit  down  in  supine  idleness,  because  there  seems  no 
sufficient  answer  to  the  cry  of  what  can  be  done  to  save  the 
thousands  of  children !  The  only  comfort  is  to  do  what  we 
can.  The  "  mothering  "  of  these  young  lives  is  a  sweet  relief 
from  the  darkest  side  of  rescue  work.  It  is  delightful  to 
visit  the  homes  where  they  are  being  trained,  and  where 
they  are  beginning  to  develop  into  bright  intelligent  girls. 

By  far  the  larger  number  of  girls  in  service  from  these 
homes  are  doing  wonderfully  well,  and  the  many  grateful 
letters  we  receive  show  that  our  care  has  not  been  lavished 
in  vain.  It  is  no  uncommon  thing  to  have  a  visit  from  one  of 
our  children  of  years  ago,  but  now  in  service,  with  her  young 
man  ;  and  many  are  the  wedding  presents  we  have  given. 

Our  aim  in  all  is  to  follow  Christ  and  to  work  for  His 
poor  and  His  little  ones  in  the  spirit  of  love  and  sacrifice, 
as  He  may  teach  and  lead  us.  Our  hope  is,  that  any  success 
we  may  have  had  may  be  an  encouragement  to  others  to 
work  among  those  apparently  most  hopeless  ones,  whose 
homes  may  lie  near  to  their  own  doors,  whether  among  the 
overcrowded  cities  in  our  own  beloved  England,  or  in  the 
younger,  freer,  less  thickly  populated  Western  cities,  where 
perhaps  such  work  may  not  be  less  needed. 

160  Woman's  Mission. 


THE  benefits  accruing  to  the  soldier  from  Institutes  are  now 
so  well  understood,  that  they  multiply,  and  will,  we  hope,  in 
course  of  time,  be  found  wheresoever  barracks  exist.  The 
Soldiers'  Institutes  at  Aldershot  and  Portsmouth  are,  perhaps, 
the  most  generally  known,  but  there  are  numerous  others 
deserving  attention  and  admiration.  These  have  been,  for 
the  most  part,  founded  by  women. 

Miss  Sarah  Robinson  began  her  work  among  soldiers 
after  a  dangerous  illness.  She  resolved  to  devote  herself  to 
the  service  of  her  heavenly  Father,  should  it  be  His  good 
pleasure  to  restore  her  to  health.  She  recovered  sufficiently 
to  commence  the  labours  which  have  resulted  in  the  Ports- 
mouth Soldiers'  Institute.  Like  all  great  works,  it  had  a 
small  beginning.  At  first  Miss  Robinson  carried  coffee  to 
her  soldiers  in  a  caravan,  and  ministered  to  their  spiritual 
wants  by  such  means  as  were  within  her  reach  ;  now  her 
resources  are  truly  manifold.  But,  as  she  began  in  bodily 
weakness,  so  she  has  continued,  "  glorifying  God "  through 
much  suffering  and  much  opposition.  Like  Miss  Florence 
Nightingale,  her  heart  was  in  her  work,  and  her  "  strength 
was  perfected  in  weakness."  Miss  Nightingale  once  wrote 
as  follows : — 

May  I  from  my  sick-bed  cry  for  help  from  England  for  her  soldiers  and 
their  Institute  at  Portsmouth,  the  great  port  for  embarking  and  disembarking. 
If  we  knew  how  troops,  immediately  on  landing,  are  beset  with  invitations  to  bad 
of  all  kinds,  we  should  hasten  to  supply  them  with  invitations  to,  and  means  for, 
good  of  all  kinds.  If  we  realized  what  were  the  only  places  open  to  our  men  out 
of  barracks,  places  not  of  recreation  but  of  drink  and  of  vice,  to  the  intense  misery 
and  degradation  of  men,  women  and  children  ...  if  you  knew  these  things  as 
I  do,  you  would  forgive  me  for  asking  you,  if  my  poor  name  may  still  be  that  of 
the  soldiers'  ever-faithful  servant,  to  support  Miss  Robinson's  work  in  making 
men  of  them  at  Portsmouth,  the  place  of  all  others  of  temptation  to  be  brutes. 

Work  among  Soldiers.  161 

This  appeal  has  been  to  a  great  extent  answered.  Since 
the  Institute  was  opened  in  1874,  hundreds  of  thousands  of 
soldiers,  their  wives  and  children,  have  been  benefited.  It  is 
only  necessary  to  inspect  the  Institute,  and  see  the  vast 
machinery  at  work  for  the  bodily  and  spiritual  good  of  the 
soldier,  to  understand  at  a  glance  what  "  The  Soldiers' 
Friend  "  has  done  for  him.  The  announcement  on  its  thres- 
hold declares  the  huge  establishment  free  to  all  soldiers  and 
sailors,  and  proclaims  that  refreshments,  amusements,  secular 
and  religious  instruction,  lodgings  for  friends — everything, 
in  short,  excepting  intoxicating  drinks — can  be  found  within, 
either  free,  or  at  a  moderate  charge.  The  refreshment  bar  is 
self-supporting.  The  Institute  contains  a  large  dining-room, 
coffee-room,  general  reception-room,  billiard-rooms,  reading- 
room,  Bible-class  room,  and  endless  sleeping  apartments. 
There  is  besides  an  immense  lecture  hall  for  general  meetings, 
surrounded  by  lofty  and  spacious  galleries ;  it  seats  about  a 
thousand  people.  What  is  there  not  ?  Even  a  bowling-green 
and  skittle-alley. 

This  large  Institute  is  in  the  town  of  Portsmouth,  but  an 
important  branch  of  the  work  is  carried  on  in  the  dockyard. 
Much  hardship  was  experienced  formerly  by  women  and 
children  on  landing  from  the  troop-ships,  as  well  as  by  the 
soldiers  themselves.  They  had  sometimes  to  wait  for  hours 
without  food  or  shelter,  and  great  was  the  joy  when  Miss 
Robinson  gained  permission  (in  1876)  to  send  coffee,  buns,  and 
biscuits  from  the  Institute  to  the  jetty.  Both  officers  and  men 
appreciated  this,  boon  ;  and  in  1877  it  was  further  enhanced 
by  the  erection  of  a  little  coffee-stall  on  the  troop-ship  jetty, 
provided  with  boilers  and  other  necessary  appliances.  By 
this  means  much  labour  was  spared  to  the  workers,  and  much 
benefit  bestowed  on  the  weary  and  often  heart-sick  crew 
of  the  troop-ships.  Waiting-rooms  have  also  been  built  on 
the  jetty,  so  that  at  the  present  time  the  soldier  and  his 
family  are  more  hospitably  received  on  their  return  to  their 
native  country  than  in  the  past. 

This  is  proved  in  more  ways  than  one.  A  large  room  has 
been  opened  in  the  town,  whither  the  soldiers'  and  sailors' 
wives  come  for  needlework.  This  has  grown  into  an  institu- 
tion, and  the  work  is  sold  to  ladies  for  the  benefit  of  the 


1 62  Woman's  Mission. 

workers.  Orders  are  also  received  and  well  executed,  and 
the  number  of  articles  made  annually  averages  four  thousand. 
To  quote  from  Miss  Robinson's  report,  "  In  the  cases  of 
women  'married  without  leave,'  this  employment  and  other 
kindly  help  given  to  them,  are  frequently  all  that  stands 
between  them  and  starvation,  or — degradation."  Added  to 
this  excellent  effort,  there  are  sewing  classes,  mothers'  meet- 
ings, Bands  of  Hope,  and  "  homes  "  for  orphan  girls.  Miss 
Robinson  seeks  to  fit  out  the  latter  for  service,  or  to  place 
them  in  permanent  homes  or  schools  ;  and  surely  England 
owes  her,  and  the  other  ladies  who  work  on  similar  lines,  a 
debt  of  gratitude  for  thus  consecrating  their  lives  to  the 
good  of  those  who  fight  for  her  homes  and  hearths.  That 
the  soldiers  themselves,  their  wives,  and  children,  are  grate- 
ful, is  proved  daily,  almost  hourly,  by  written  and  spoken 
words  eloquent  with  unstudied  thankfulness. 

Of  the  home  attached  to  the  Institute,  Miss  Robinson 
herself  says — 

The  uncertainty  as  to  each  day's  requirements  adds  greatly  to  the  difficulties 
of  Institute  "housekeeping."  For  instance,  one  day  all  our  beds  may  be  empty, 
and  the  next  all  filled  and  extra  ones  needed.  One  day  a  message  came  from  the 
Quartermaster-General's  office  to  ask  how  many  women  and  children  we  could 
accommodate,  as  a  shipful  was  expected.  We  replied  that  we  could  take  in  one 
hundred  and  forty ;  but,  after  all,  only  one  woman  came.  The  next  week, 
without  any  notice  whatever,  sixty  persons  were  sent  to  us  to  be  kept  for  three 
days.  One  day  a  sergeant  drove  up  from  the  dockyard  to  say,  ' '  Look  sharp, 
sixteen  families  are  on  their  way  to  you ; "  but  generally  our  first  intimation  is 
from  the  people  themselves  pouring  into  the  house. 

The  troop-ship  work  is  perhaps  the  distinguishing  feature 
of  this  Institute.  Ladies  visit  every  vessel  that  embarks  or 
disembarks  at  Portsmouth,  and  one  lady  makes  it  her  special 
care  to  see  to  the  sick  on  board,  and  give  them  warm  clothing 
and  little  dainties.  Others  go  through  the  quarters  of  the 
women  and  children,  which  are  close  and  crowded,  with  beds 
on  shelves  one  above  another,  and  scarcely  space  to  pass 
between.  The  kindness  of  friends,  here,  there,  and  everywhere, 
enables  the  ladies  to  distribute  hundreds  of  wraps — sorely 
needed  by  the  poor  families  who  arrive,  perhaps,  from  the 
tropics,  and  have  to  proceed,  by  train  or  otherwise,  to  colder 
climes.  "  The  Little  Friends  of  Soldiers  and  Sailors,"  or 
•"  Miss  Robinson's  own,"  aid  in  this  good  work.  They  send 

Work  among  Soldiers.  163 

garments  and  presents  for  the  children,  and  collect,  on  an 
average,  £1 50  annually  for  the  three  institutes.  This  juvenile 
society  was  formed  August  I,  1884,  to  commemorate  Miss 
Robinson's  fiftieth  birthday.  Nearly  ten  years  have  elapsed 
since  then,  and  we  have  now,  alas  !  to  chronicle  the  fact  that 
Miss  Robinson  resigns  the  actual  superintendence  of  the 
Institute  into  the  hands  of  another :  Mr.  Gelson  Gregson. 
She  will  still  reside  within  its  walls  and  identify  herself  with 
it ;  but  her  failing  health  forbids  continuance  of  the  immense 
labour  she  has  gone  through  in  past  years. 

It  is  not  easy  to  realize  what  this  has  been.  There  is  at 
Portsmouth  the  Soldiers'  Institute,  with  every  accommodation 
for  soldiers  and  sailors  and  their  wives  ;  Mission  Hall  and 
Soup  Kitchen  ;  two  coffee  sheds  on  the  jetty  ;  the  Sailors' 
Welcome  at  Portsea  ;  the  Welcome  Mission  at  Landport ;  and 
last,  but  not  least,  the  Sailors'  and  Soldiers'  Institute  at 
Alexandria.  This  last  is  situated  on  the  Boulevard  Ramleh, 
and  was  begun  and  completed  in  six  months.  Miss  Robinson 
says  that  her  first  idea  was  to  erect  a  temporary  building  ; 
and  accordingly,  she  purchased  the  iron  Oratory  at  Brompton 
(which  happened  to  be  then  for  sale),  and  it  was  put  up  under 
the  direction  of  her  Portsmouth  manager,  Mr.  Tufnell,  himself 
once  a  soldier.  This  was  succeeded  by  the  present  handsome 
stone  building.  Here  the  same  rules  and  regulations  obtain 
as  at  Portsmouth,  and  the  same  advantages  are  afforded. 
There  are  the  refreshment-bar,  the  large  reading-room,  Bible- 
class  room,  lecture  hall,  club-room  for  officers  and  English 
residents,  bedrooms  for  officers,  sleeping  cabins,  etc.  Certainly 
good  works  make  "the  whole  world  kin,"  and  for  this  and 
innumerable  other  "good  works"  we  are  indebted  to  women. 
Lord  Wolseley  gave  them  a  meed  of  praise  at  an  Institute 
meeting  in  Ireland,  when  he  delivered  an  address  in  behalf 
of  the  work  of  Miss  Sands  among  the  soldiers.  He  said, 
"We  thank  God  for  the  earnest  band  of  voluntary  lady- 
workers  He  has  sent  to  help  us.  They  visit  systematically 
in  barracks  .and  hospitals,  welcome  the  men  who  come  to 
the  homes,  and  hold  nightly  meetings  for  those  who  wish 
to  attend." 

This  quotation  introduces  us  to  other  homes  and  institutes 
in  the  sister  country.  They  have  been  established  in  Co. 

164  Womaris  Mission. 

Cork,  and  not  only  in  Cork  itself,  but  in  Queenstown,  Ballin- 
collig,  Dublin,  Dundalk,  and  Belfast.  Miss  Sands  has  devoted 
herself  with  untiring  energy  and  zeal  thus  to  aid  the  soldier. 
The  Cork  institution  has  been  working  between  fifteen  and 
sixteen  years,  and  provides,  as  do  the  other  homes,  the 
accommodation,  recreation,  and  instruction,  afforded  by  all 
similar  institutions.  Indeed  most,  if  not  all,  Soldiers'  Insti- 
tutes are  formed  and  kept  alive  on  similar  principles. 

The  opinion  of  Lord  Wolseley  must  have  weight,  and  he 
speaks  truly  with  authority  of  the  benefits  derived  by  the 
soldier  from  the  philanthropic  efforts  of  the  women  of  this 
remarkable  age.  A  few  more  quotations  from  his  speech 
may  be  serviceable. 

It  was  not  until  the  ladies  of  Great  Britain  and  Ireland,  with  great  devotion, 
came  forward  that  the  soldiers'  clubs  or  homes  became  the  useful  and  well- 
organized  institutions  they  are  at  present.  Those  who  knew  the  soldier  knew 
that  what  he  required  was  a  "  home "  with  sympathetic  care  and  consideration. 
What  did  home  mean  ?  Home  to  the  citizen  of  Cork  was  the  same  as  home  to 
the  soldier.  The  soldier's  recollection  was  associated  with  his  mother  and  sisters 
and  numbers  of  acquaintances,  and  when  away  from  them  he  felt  the  great  want 
of  sympathy  a  lady  could  alone  give  him.  It  is  because  of  that  sympathy  given 
in  the  homes  that  they  are  as  popular  with  some  of  the  men  as  the  mess-house 
with  the  officer ;  and  he  finds  every  convenience  that  the  best  club-house  supplies. 
He  can  write  letters  to  his  people  at  home  in  comfort  and  peace ;  he  can  enjoy 
himself,  and  not  only  have  his  mind  filled  with  good  literature  and  his  body  with 
good  provisions,  but  he  meets  with  companions  who  will  talk  to  him  on  an 
equality,  and  in  a  way  it  would  be  impossible  for  an  officer,  no  matter  how  much 
sympathy  he  may  feel  for  the  men,  to  do.  The  presence  of  the  ladies  is  the 
great  charm  of  these  institutions,  for  the  men  find  in  them  sympathy,  an  anxiety 
to  help  them,  and  loving  care.  Four  ladies  reside  in  the  Cork,  Dublin,  and 
Belfast  homes,  and  two  ladies  in  each  of  the  smaller  homes.  In  closing  we  cannot 
help  thanking  God  for  the  way  He  has  blest  all  our  homes  through  the  past  year, 
and  especially  for  spiritual  blessing  amongst  the  men. 

It  would  be  impossible  to  particularize  all  the  institutes 
that  have  arisen  since  the  first  attempt  was  made  to  teach 
our  soldiers  the  blessings  of  religion.  This  philanthropic  and 
highly  spiritual  effort  originated  at  Aldershot,  some  thirty 
years  ago.  Mrs.  Daniell,  the  widow  of  an  officer,  preceded 
Miss  Robinson,  and  should,  perhaps,  have  had  the  first  place 
in  this  paper  ;  suffice  it  to  say  that  her  soul  was  stirred  by 
the  lack  of  religion  and  morality  in  the  army  at  that  time, 
and  she  resolved  to  dedicate  the  remaining  years  of  her  life 
to  the  endeavour  to  provide  the  soldier  with  the  Christian's 
armour,  to  enable  him  to  fight  against  worse  foes  than  he 

Work  among  Soldiers.  165 

could  meet  with  even  on  the  battle-field.  She  knew  that 
when  off  duty  his  only  recreation  was  to  be  found  in  the 
public-house,  the  low  music-hall,  the  dancing-saloon,  or  in 
worse  places  still,  which  are  sure  to  crop  up  wherever  bar- 
racks are  placed.  She  would  give  him  the  choice  of  some- 
thing better  ;  and  the  result  has  been  that  a  machinery  for 
good  is  now  in  full  force  at  Aldershot,  similar  to  that  already 
working  at  Portsmouth.  The  intentions  and  prayers  of  this 
Christian  lady  are  expressed  in  a  letter  she  wrote  to  the  late 
Rev.  Mr.  Pennefather,  of  Mildmay.  Both  are  now  "  reaping 
the  reward  of  their  labours,"  together  with  Mrs.  Pennefather, 
so  lately  taken  from  us ;  and  it  is  well  to  know  how  deeply 
they  all  felt  the  need  of  employing  every  art  and  artifice  in 
the  arduous  conflict  with  evil.  The  following  is  an  extract 
from  the  letter  in  question  : — "  If  I  know  anything  of  my  own 
heart,  I  am  ready  to  say  to  every  call  of  the  Master,  '  Here 
am  I,  send  me ! '  But  then  we  must  not  mistake  the  voice 
of  partial  friends  for  the  Master's  call ;  and  what  I  want  you 
and  other  friends  to  pray  for  is,  not  that  I  may  be  permitted 
to  commence  this  work,  but  rather  that  I  may  be  kept  from 
taking  any  steps  in  the  matter  unless  He  has  chosen  me  for 
this  honour.  So  much  has  been  written  of  Aldershot,  that 
it  is  unnecessary  for  me  to  enter  into  the  loathsome  details 
of  the  unblushing  vice  that  tracks  the  everyday  path  of  the 
poor  soldier.  A  Christian  officer  who  has  been  there  for  two 
years  told  a  friend  last  month  that  nothing  that  was  ever  said 
of  the  abounding  wickedness  could  go  beyond  the  reality. 
Something  therefore  ought  to  be  done  over  and  above  what 
may  yet  have  been  attempted.  If  the  time  to  favour  Aider- 
shot  be  come,  some  loving  hands  will  be  stretched  out  to 
help  forward  the  mission,  some  loving  voice  will  bid  me  God- 
speed. Do  not  forget  to  ask  special  prayer  : — '  All  things 
whatsoever  ye  shall  ask  in  prayer,  believing  ye  shall  receive.' 
I  shall  long  to  hear  what  you  think  on  the  subject,  and  to 
have  your  advice  as  to  the  propriety  of  undertaking  the 

Thus  began  Mrs.  Daniell's  mission  to  the  camp  and  town 
of  Aldershot.  She  laboured  in  it  about  ten  years  ;  and  after 
her  much  lamented  death,  in  1871,  her  daughter,  Miss  G.  F. 
S.  Daniell,  carried  it  on.  This  "  worthy  daugh  ter  of  a  worthy 

1 66  Woman  s  Mission. 

mother  "  labours  still  in  the  fields  thus  prepared.  Aided  by 
other  devoted  women,  she,  as  a  soldier's  daughter,  lives  for 
the  soldier.  There  can  be  no  better  ending  for  this  paper 
than  an  extract  from  her  own  reports,  which  shows  what  the 
mission  is  to-day : — 

The  work  at  Aldershot  grew  and  prospered.  For  some  years  it  stood  alone, 
but  in  the  course  of  time  the  parent  stem  shot  forth  goodly  branches,  and  it  is  carried 
on  to-day  in  six  garrisons,  in  addition  to  the  old  "home  "  at  Aldershot — Chatham, 
Colchester,  Manchester,  London,  Plymouth,  and  Windsor.  The  buildings  are 
vested  in  the  hands  of  trustees,  men  of  mark  either  in  the  service  or  in  the 
philanthropic  world,  but  are  placed  under  the  control  of  no  particular  eccle- 
siastical body.  In  an  army  composed  of  men  of  all  religious  denominations, 
Church  distinctions  must  be  unknown  in  any  work  which  is  to  be  free  and  open 
to  all.  No  man,  be  he  Episcopalian,  Presbyterian,  Wesleyan,  Baptist,  or  Romanist, 
must  run  the  chance  of  hearing  anything  said  against  the  Church  of  his  choice. 
And  therefore  from  the  very  first,  and  throughout  the  whole  course  of  the  work, 
this  neutral  independent  ground  has  been  most  jealously  guarded.  Of  course  no 
secret  has  ever  been  made  of  the  fact  that  those  who  are  freely  giving  their  life 
and  means  to  carry  on  the  work  in  Mrs.  Daniell's  Homes  do  not  look  upon  the 
men  as  mere  "  children  to  be  amused,"  but  as  undying  souls,  capable  of  rising  to 
the  height  of  fellowship  with  God. 

Beyond  and  above  all  is  the  personal  work  of  the  ladies  living  in  the  homes. 
During  the  evening,  the  time  at  which  the  soldier  is  out  of  barracks  and  a  free 
man,  one  of  them  is  always  on  duty  in  a  small  library  near  the  entrance  hall. 
Here  new-comers  are  welcomed,  temperance  pledges  taken,  lending-library  books 
exchanged  ;  and  here,  perhaps,  as  much  as  or  more  than  in  any  other  part  of  the 
premises,  the  work  of  the  mission  has  been  accomplished. 

All  the  branches  already  mentioned  in  Miss  Robinson's 
work  are  in  active  operation  here.  These  are  the  results  of 
Mrs.  Daniell's  prayers  and  labours.  She  and  her  daughter 
have  been  the  pioneers  in  this  noble  work,  and  we  cannot  err 
in  saying  that  what  they  and  their  followers  have  accomplished 
has  borne  fruit  even  unto  "  the  ends  of  the  earth." 



I  HAVE  been  requested  by  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts  to 
write  a  paper,  giving  an  account  of  my  personal  work  in 
the  Royal  Navy  of  Great  Britain,  and  among  sailors  every- 
where. I  have  much  pleasure  in  responding  to  the  request 
of  one  whose  active  and  incessant  philanthropy  is  of  world- 
wide repute.  I  also  append  some  notes  to  this  paper,  as 
to  Sailors'  Rests  and  Homes  in  various  parts  of  the  world. 
Although  I  have  been  working  for  the  good  of  sailors  for 
twenty-five  years,  the  last  twenty  have  been  by  far  the  most 
active  and  fruitful.  About  twenty-five  years  ago,  a  little 
seed  was  sown,  which,  under  God,  was  to  grow  into  a  great 
tree.  A  Christian  soldier  asked  me  to  write  to  a  seaman,  a 
godly  man,  then  serving  as  sick-berth  steward  on  board 
H.M.S.  Crocodile.  "  He  would  like  a  letter  from  a  Christian 
lady,"  wrote  the  soldier,  "because  he  misses  his  mother's 
letters  so  much.  She  used  to  write  to  him,  but  she  is  dead 
and  gone."  To  replace  that  mother  was  no  easy  task,  and 
yet  it  was  a  plain  duty  to  write  to  the  man.  I  did  so,  and 
he  has  often  since  remarked  what  a  help  that  simple  letter 
was  to  him ;  how  he  took  it  into  a  dark  corner  of  the  ship, 
and,  when  he  had  read  it,  how  he  knelt  down  and  thanked 
God  that  He  had  given  him  a  Christian  friend  to  take  his 
mother's  place.  That  sick-berth  steward  was  well  known  in 
Portsmouth.  He  is  now  in  New  York,  where,  having  passed 
through  the  medical  schools,  he  has  graduated,  taking  the 
degree  of  Doctor  of  Medicine,  and  is  now  practising  and 
working  for  God  in  the  Medical  Mission  of  that  city.  "  Never 
shall  I  forget,"  said  he,  in  writing  to  me,  "  the  dear  old 

1 68  Woman's  Mission. 

Crocodile  days,  and  never  do  I  cease  to  thank  God  that  I  was 
your  first  blue-jacket  friend." 

Thus  the  key-note  of  the  work  was  struck :  personal  in- 
terest in  the  brave  men  of  the  sea — men  who  of  all  others 
know  how  to  appreciate  true  friendship,  and  men  of  all 
others  who  are  most  frequently  led  down  to  destruction  by 
friendship  of  a  wrong  kind.  This  work  began  to  grow.  It 
had  the  principle  of  life  in  it  which  only  God  could  give  ; 
and  its  aim  was,  and  has  been,  by  every  holy,  Christ-like,  and 
home  influence,  to  draw  our  naval  men  from  pleasures  that 
debase  and  ruin  them  to  a  sober  and  godly  life.  My  first 
naval  friend,  now  Dr.  George  Dowkontt,  sent  me  the  names 
of  Christian  men  on  board  other  of  her  Majesty's  ships,  who 
had  no  one  to  write  to  them,  and  would  be  so  glad  to  hear 
from  some  friend  who  would  give  them  good  counsel ;  here 
was  a  quiet  way  of  ministering,  but  a  useful  one.  Jack  is 
not  overdone  by  letters :  he  values  them,  he  reads  and  re- 
reads them,  and  stows  them  away  in  cap  or  ditty  box  for 
future  reference,  and  oftentimes  they  become  the  touch  of 
Christian  love  that  leads  him  to  forsake  the  evil  and  to 
choose  the  good.  Twenty  years  ago,  I  found  letter-writing 
an  important  part  of  the  work,  and  I  find  it  so  still.  About 
ten  thousand  letters,  all  purely  personal,  were  written  last 
year,  in  reply  to  as  many  written  by  officers  and  men  in  our 
fleet  all  over  the  world.  To  supplement,  but  not  to  super- 
sede this  letter-writing,  I  issue  two  monthly  letters  ;  one 
to  the  men,  the  other  to  the  boys  of  our  Service.  These 
letters  have  been  circulated  afloat  for  about  twenty  years. 
When  first  issued,  a  few  hundred  copies  sufficed  ;  but  the 
demand  for  them  has  grown  so  steadily  that  last  year 
529,682  were  circulated.  These  little  messengers  have  gone 
through  every  ship  in  her  Majesty's  Service,  from  the  grim 
battle-ship  to  the  little  torpedo-boat.  They  also  go  to  the 
merchant  seamen,  fishermen,  lifeboat  men  ;  and  last,  but  not 
least,  they  find  a  welcome  under  the  Stars  and  Stripes, 
having  been  circulated  for  many  years  in  the  United  States 
Navy.  The  demand  came  in  this  way.  One  of  the  American 
warships  was  lying  in  Japanese  waters,  some  years  ago, 
alongside  a  British  ship  ;  the  monthly  letters  were  passed  on 
board,  and  the  American  seamen  wrote  to  me  again  and 

Work  among  Sailors.  169 

again,  asking  me  to  bring  out  an  edition  expressly  for  them- 
selves. This  I  did  ;  and  now  each  American  warship 
receives  its  consignment  every  month,  and  hearty  letters  of 
thanks  are  returned. 

At  the  commencement  of  my  personal  work  in  the  Navy, 
I  was  asked  by  the  National  Temperance  League  of  London 
to  superintend  the  "  Royal  Naval  Temperance  Society." 
Drink  has  ever  been  Jack's  greatest  enemy,  and  I  was  eager 
to  fight  such  a  foe.  Single-handed,  I  could  have  done  nothing  ; 
but  by  organization  and  the  help  of  the  splendid  committees 
on  board  our  ships,  the  temperance  work  in  the  Navy  has 
made  a  great  and  abiding  success.  Mr.  W.  S.  Caine,  M.P., 
when  Junior  Lord  of  the  Admiralty,  calculated  that  it  saved 
the  country  a  million  sterling  a  year.  H.M.  Consul  at 
Yokohama  stated  that  while  in  old  days  numbers  of  seamen 
were  committed  for  drunkenness,  yet,  although  three  thousand 
men  were  ashore  on  a  recent  visit  of  the  British  squadron,  only 
three  were  brought  before  him.  The  Royal  Naval  Temper- 
ance Society  has  so  extended  its  operations  that  at  the  present 
date  it  is  working  on  board  every  ship  in  our  national  Service. 
In  some  ships  we  have  solitary  workers,  but  on  board  most 
of  them  organized  committees  of  seamen  and  marines  are 
earnestly  working  to  save  their  shipmates  from  the  professional 
and  moral  ruin  that  drink  brings.  We  calculate  roughly — 
taking  our  Navy,  Coastguard  Service,  and  Boys'  Training 
Ships  together — that  about  one  in  every  six  is  a  total  abstainer. 
A  very  great  help  to  this  temperance  work  is  a  monthly 
illustrated  paper  called  Ashore  and  Afloat,  edited  by  my 
friend  and  co-trustee,  Miss  Wintz.  It  is  bright,  readable,  and 
chatty,  and  is  heartily  appreciated  by  sailors  and  fishermen 
everywhere.  During  the  past  year  380,670  copies  have  been 
sent  to  seafaring  men.  The  Missions  to  Seamen  Society,  the 
Mission  to  Deep-Sea  Fishermen,  and  the  British  and  Foreign 
Sailors'  Society  receive  large  grants.  I  would  gladly  send 
this  paper  with  the  Monthly  Letter  to  the  American  Navy, 
where  I  know  it  would  be  heartily  welcomed,  and  would  be 
of  much  benefit,  but  I  am  deterred  by  the  expense. 

Work  afloat  is  calculated  to  do  much  good,  and  I  feel 
very  thankful  that,  by  the  kindness  of  the  Admiralty  and  of 
commanding  officers,  I  havefsuch  liberal  access  to  our  war- 

170  Woman  s  Mission. 

ships,  training-ships,  Royal  Marine  Barracks,  Royal  Naval 
Hospitals,  etc.  Temperance  meetings  in  these  ships  are  a 
novel  sight,  and  the,  hearty  greeting  that  I  receive  is  most 
gratifying.  The  boatswain's  mate  pipes  the  notice  of  the 
meeting  on  the  lower  deck  :  "  Miss  Weston's  come  aboard 
and  she's  going  to  spin  yer  a  yarn  on  the  torpedo  flat."  That 
is  sufficient  to  ensure  a  crowd  of  some  hundreds.  Earnest 
attention  is  given,  many  temperance  pledges  are  signed,  and 
old  friends  are  met  The  length  of  service  in  our  Navy  is  a 
great  help  to  consecutive  work.  Ten  years  is  the  enlistment 
term,  and  ten  years  more  for  a  pension.  Thus  there  are  men 
in  our  Navy  now  whom  I  knew  as  boys  twenty  years  ago. 
When  I  first  paid  a  visit  to  Plymouth,  one  of  our  great  naval 
arsenals,  the  sailor-boys  claimed  my  interest  and  attention. 
"  Somebody's  boys  "  they  certainly  were,  from  all  parts  of  the 
country  ;  some  two  thousand  let  loose  on  shore  twice  a  week, 
without  any  home  to  go  to.  They  were  fine  young  fellows, 
anxious  to  be  thorough  sailors,  but  undoubtedly  going  on  a 
lee  shore  !  I  visited  their  ships  and  addressed  them  there  ; 
but  I  felt  that  something  must  be  done  on  shore  for  these 
boys,  and  that  a  teetotal  home,  which  in  those  days — twenty 
years  ago — had  never  been  tried  for  Jack,  must  be  attempted. 
Single-handed,  I  might  never  have  ventured  it,  or  if  I  had, 
might  not  have  succeeded  ;  but  God,  in  His  good  Providence, 
gave  me  a  friend  and  helper  in  Miss  Wintz,  herself  belonging 
to  a  naval  family,  who  became  my  "  chum,"  as  we  call  it  in 
the  Navy,  and  has  been  so  ever  since.  We  determined  to  do 
something  in  Plymouth  close  to  her  Majesty's  Dockyard, 
and  in  1876  started  a  Sailors'  Rest,  the  first  of  its  name  and 
kind.  Many  prophecies  were  uttered  "  that  the  place  would 
be  shut  up  in  six  months,"  and  it  was  said  that  to  provide 
Jack  with  such  drinks  as  tea  and  coffee  was  a  "  crank,"  which 
could  only  exist  in  the  brain  of  one  or  two  misguided  women. 
However,  the  answer  has  been  emphatically  given  by  the 
men  themselves,  after  sixteen  years'  trial.  The  number  sleep- 
ing on  our  premises  last  year,  at  the  Plymouth  Sailors'  Rest, 
was  72,822,  and  at  Portsmouth  42,875,  making  a  total  of 
115,637  seamen,  comfortably  sheltered;  besides  the  many 
who  in  times  of  pressure  lie  about  on  couches,  tables,  the 
floors,  anywhere.  The  money  taken  over  our  counters  during 

Work  among  Sailors.  171 

the  past  year  amounted  to  £11,578  los.  id.;  and  after  pay- 
ment of  all  expenses,  provision  for  wear  and  tear,  etc.,  a 
balance  of  £1672  is.  $d.  remained.  This  money  has  been 
placed  in  the  "  Refreshment  Reserve  Fund,"  for  use  in 
temperance  and  philanthropic  work  among  sailors  ;  and 
shows  plainly  that  Sailors'  Rests,  without  the  drink,  may  be 
made  to  answer  well.  "  Overcrowded  in  every  way,"  is  the 
answer,  after  sixteen  years'  work,  to  the  gloomy  prognostica- 
tions of  those  who  declared  the  idea  to  be  Utopian. 

Some  broad  regulations  have  contributed  much  to  our 
success.  "  No  blue-jacket  or  marine  ever  to  be  turned  from 
the  door,  even  if  '  three  sheets  in  the  wind.' "  "  No  compulsion 
of  any  kind  to  be  used  to  draw  men  into  meetings  and  classes; 
the  men  to  feel  as  free  as  in  their  own  homes."  "  Men  to  pay 
a  fair  price  for  food,  beds,  and  baths,  but  to  be  able  to  use 
the  Sailors'  Rest  in  every  other  way,  without  payment." 
What  is  the  result?  Many  a  man  once  a  drunkard,  now 
thanks  God  for  the  rule  that  admitted  a  man  in  drink.  "  I'd 
spent  every  farthing  at  the  Napier  Inn,"  said  a  man,  "  and 
was  roaring  drunk  ;  they  kicked  me  out  into  the  gutter,  and 
I  lay  there  until  the  people  from  the  Sailors'  Rest  came 
out,  and  carried  me  in,  publicans'  leavings  as  I  was,  and 
through  that  I  turned  to  a  new  life ;  and  says  I,  God 
bless  'em." 

When  the  Sailors'  Rest  was  first  opened,  naturally,  as 
now,  the  publicans  looked  upon  us  with  no  little  disfavour  ; 
for  was  not  their  trade  in  danger?  It  was  a  fair  fight,  and 
no  favour ;  beer  versus  coffee.  Generally,  we  are  compelled 
to  admit,  the  brewer's  dray  carries  all  before  it ;  and  in 
Plymouth  the  odds  were  heavy:  nine  drink-shops  against 
one  coffee-house.  The  publicans  loudly  proclaimed  the 
Sailors'  Rest  "  a  disgraceful  innovation,  a  place  that  ought 
to  be  crushed  by  all  right-thinking  men."  "  If  there  is  any 
one  on  earth  that  I  hate,  it  is  that  Miss  Weston  of  yours," 
said  one  of  these  worthy  Bonifaces  to  my  manager;  "she 
brings  a  blight  upon  all  honest  trade."  This  was  sad,  but 
yet  encouraging.  The  seamen  crowded  the  Sailors'  Rest, 
and  we  did  all  we  could  to  make  them  happy ;  and  as  to  the 
publicans,  we  advised  them  to  change  their  trade  to  a  better 
one,  and  insured  our  plate-glass  windows,  which  they  had 

172  Woman's  Mission. 

threatened  to  break.  A  pretty  constant  changing  of  land- 
lords, in  the  six  public-houses  opposite  to  us,  showed  that 
custom  was  running  down ;  and  the  result  of  the  battle  was 
that  the  public-houses  were  given  up.  Pulled  down,  they 
disappeared  bodily — improved  off  the  ground.  Time  went  on, 
and  we  held  our  own ;  enlarging  the  Sailors'  Rest,  building 
a  high  block  of  dormitories,  and  then  a  hall  on  a  large  scale. 
Still  we  were  crowded  out ;  and  the  earnest  petition  of  the 
men  was,  "  Shake  out  a  reef,  do  shake  out  a  reef."  It  was 
plain  to  Miss  Wintz  and  myself  that  go  forward  we  must. 
If  we  remained  in  such  an  uncomfortable  crowded  state, 
we  should  go  back.  After  much  consideration  and  earnest 
prayer  we  resolved  to  lessen  the  men's  temptations,  by  trying 
to  get  two  out  of  the  three  public-houses  still  left  between 
ourselves  and  the  Dockyard  gates,  the  Royal  Naval  Rendez- 
vous and  the  Napier  Inn.  It  seemed  a  great  enterprise, 
almost  an  impossibility.  The  sum  of  money  needed  was 
large.  Just  at  the  critical  moment  a  gentleman  well  known 
in  the  Navy,  Mr.  Robert  Whitehead,  inventor  of  the  celebrated 
Whitehead  torpedoes,  sent  a  torpedo  against  the  public-houses 
in  the  shape  of  a  cheque  for  ^1000 ;  others  followed,  and  the 
two  grog-shops  finally  capitulated.  Active  negotiations  were 
now  carried  on  with  the  owners  of  the  corner  public-house, 
the  Dock  Gates  Inn,  so  that  the  whole  block  might  be 
captured.  About  that  time  I  happened  to  be  visiting  the 
Royal  Naval  Hospital,  Plymouth.  A  seaman  was  lying  in 
his  bed,  in  the  last  stage  of  consumption  ;  he  had  served  on 
board  one  of  the  turret-ships  and  had  been  a  picture  of  health 
and  strength.  With  his  skeleton  finger  he  beckoned  me  to 
his  bedside,  and  between  his  gasps  he  whispered  into  my  ear, 
"  Have  you  got  the  Dock  Gates  Inn  ?  "  "  Not  yet,"  I  said, 
"  but  I  believe  we  shall ;  we  are  praying  for  it."  "  And  so 
am  I,"  he  said  earnestly,  laying  his  bony  hand  on  my  arm. 
"  I  am  praying  to  God  day  and  night  on  my  bed  to  give 
you  that  place ;  there  I  learned  to  drink,  and  the  drink  has 
brought  me  here."  Poor  fellow !  like  a  sinking  boat  he  was 
going  down.  Whether  he  was  resting  for  salvation  on  Christ 
was  not  very  clear,  but  his  one  earthly  desire  was  that  the 
public-house  that  had  worked  his  ruin  might  be  done  away 
with.  Thank  God,  this  is  now  accomplished.  The  large  sum 

Work  among  Sailors.  173 

needed  for  the  purchase  of  these  public-houses  and  their 
sites  was  raised  ;  and  when  the  last  barrel  of  beer  was  rolled 
out  and  the  houses  were  closed  and  the  key  laid  upon  my 
table,  we  all  rejoiced  that  the  temptations  adjoining  the  gates 
of  H.M.  Dockyard  had  been  destroyed.  Although  there 
were  more  public-houses  further  up  the  street,  the  first  doors 
open  to  receive  our  man-o'-war's-men  as  they  left  the  Govern- 
ment premises  would  now  be  those  of  the  "  public-house  with- 
out the  drink."  Step  by  step,  the  work  went  on,  until  a  noble 
pile  of  buildings  adjoining  the  old  Sailors'  Rest  was  raised  on 
the  site  of  the  taverns,  and  was  and  is  crowded  with  the 
happy  faces  of  our  blue-jackets.  This  building,  with  its 
sister  building  at  Portsmouth,  is  a  focus  of  work  for  God  in 
the  Navy.  Bright  meetings,  Gospel,  temperance,  and  social 
classes,  naval  clubs  and  benefit  societies,  and  much  else  make 
Jack's  home  bright  and  happy.  A  staff  of  devoted  workers, 
ladies  and  others,  assist  Miss  Wintz  and  myself.  We 
are  not  in  debt,  and  we  make  the  places  more  than  self- 
supporting.  The  buildings  are  vested  in  trustees  for  continuity 
of  work,  and  well  they  may  be ;  as  the  sum  of  something 
like  ;£i  50,000  has  been  spent  upon  them.  They  are  the 
head-quarters  of  the  "  Royal  Naval  Temperance  Society," 
and  the  "  Royal  Naval  Christian  Union."  Nor  are  the 
wives  and  little  ones,  Jack's  best  bower  anchors,  forgotten. 
Large  meetings  of  sailors'  wives  and  sailors'  children  are 
held  regularly,  winter  clubs,  savings  bank,  etc.  I  roughly 
estimate  the  attendance  during  the  year  at  our  meetings  at 
150,000  seamen,  their  wives  and  children,  naval  pensioners, 
and  others,  and  50,000  at  our  Saturday  night  temperance 
entertainments.  My  system  in  the  business  of  the  place  is 
to  throw  the  coffee-bar  open  to  any  one,  and  yet  to  keep  the 
Institute  strictly  to  seamen  and  marines,  and  this  plan  has 
worked  well.  Seamen  are  able  to  bring  wives  and  friends  in, 
the  public  have  the  advantage  of  a  coffee-house,  and  when 
our  fleets  are  absent  at  sea  we  are  enabled  to  do  sufficient 
business  to  keep  the  places  going,  with  something  over.  I 
should  like  to  see  Sailors'  Rests,  on  broad  principles,  started 
all  over  the  world  ;  bright  and  cheery ;  the  Bible  in,  the 
drink  out.  Plenty  of  colour  and  looking-glass  (we  have  yet 
to  learn  that  bright  colours  cost  more  than  dull  ones),  bright 

174  Woman 's  Mission. 

smiles  also,  and  a  hearty  welcome  whether  Jack  is  drunk 
or  sober,  are  indispensable  for  success  ;  and  meetings,  etc., 
should  be  constantly  going  on,  that  he  can  attend  or  not 
as  he  likes.  These  things  draw  him  from  public-houses  and 
places  of  bad  resort,  and  give  him  the  advantages  of  a  happy 
home.  A  good  situation  is  all-important ;  a  commanding 
building  is  also  a  great  attraction.  If  possible,  some  one 
should  be  at  the  head  whom  Jack  knows,  and  on  whom  he 
can  bestow  that  best  of  titles,  "Mother."  A  committee  is 
good,  but  I  hope  that  I  shall  not  be  accused  of  egotism  when 
I  say  a  person  is  better.  True,  all  this  involves  the  leaving 
of  our  homes,  the  giving  up  of  much  personal  comfort ;  but 
the  sacrifice  is  to  God,  and  we  get  His  blessing  and  the  love 
and  esteem  of  the  brave  men  that  throng  the  place.  Our 
Royal  Family  have  shown  great  interest  and  appreciation, 
and  have  personally  been  most  kind  ;  the  Admirals,  Captains, 
and  Chaplains  of  the  British  Navy  have  left  nothing  undone 
that  could  lessen  my  labours  ;  and  I  am  sure  that  wherever 
these  homes  were  placed,  all  the  good  and  the  true-hearted 
would  rally  round  them.  Our  seamen  do  so  much  for  us, 
we  surely  owe  them  gratitude.  Our  merchant  sailors  bring 
us  all  that  we  need  for  daily  life ;  our  naval  seamen  protect 
our  commerce,  act  as  police  all  over  the  world,  guard  our 
hearths  and  homes,  and  are  ready  at  any  time  to  sacrifice 
their  lives  for  their  country,  as  has  been  shown  again  and 
again.  If  the  gold,  silver,  and  bronze  medals  of  the  Royal 
Humane  Society  are  given  away,  they  are  generally  presented 
to  seamen.  Are  the  slaves  set  free,  under  a  burning  African 
sun?  It  is  to  the  blue-jackets  that  they  owe  their  liberty. 
Bishop  Crowther,  of  Sierra  Leone,  told  with  tears  in  his  eyes 
how  he  owed  his  life,  his  all,  to  the  seamen.  They  captured 
the  slaver  in  which,  as  a  child,  he  was  bound  hand  and  foot, 
and  set  himself  and  his  mother  free,  loading  them  with 
kindness.  "Never,  never,"  said  he,  "shall  I  forget  the  ships 
or  the  blue-jackets,  God  bless  them."  As  a  living  proof  that 
the  work  has  taken  deep  hold  on  the  Navy,  there  is  the 
fact  that  every  year  a  fleet  has  been  mobilized  I  have  been 
able  to  band  together  temperance  and  Christian  men  in  each 
ship  to  carry  out  work  for  God.  Every  national  navy,  and 
I  would  say  also  every  merchant  navy,  should  have  some 

Work  among  Sailors.  175 

organization  on  board  each  ship  able  to  foster  this  life  of 
godliness.  "  Without  men  of  a  high  moral  stamp,"  said  the 
late  Chief  Constructor  of  Portsmouth  Dockyard,  "  our  modern 
intricate  ships  can  never  be  manoeuvred."  True,  moral  men 
we  must  have,  and  Christian  men  are  best  of  all.  May  this 
be  realized  internationally,  and  may  the  motto  of  every  navy 
be,  "Defence,  not  Defiance." 

I  wish  that  I  could  give  a  better  account  than  will  be 
possible,  of  other  work  in  the  same  direction  ;  but  I  have 
gathered  some  information  as  to  the  working  of  Sailors' 
Rests  in  England  and  other  places.  The  Missions  to 
Seamen  Society  has  done  and  is  doing  excellent  work,  prin- 
cipally in  the  Merchant  Service.  They  have  thirty-five 
Seamen's  Institutes,  in  thirty-one  seaports  ;  sixteen  mission- 
rooms  in  fifteen  seaports  ;  and  fourteen  churches  in  fourteen 
seaports.  The  idea  is  to  provide  companionship,  recreation, 
instruction,  and  worship.  The  larger  ports  are  better  provided 
than  the  smaller  ones  ;  the  best  buildings  being  at  Cardiff, 
Bristol,  Sunderland,  South  Shields,  Newport  (Mon.),  Liver- 
pool, Maryport,  and  Southampton.  They  are  open  without 
payment  to  seamen  of  all  nations  and  creeds.  The  society 
aims  at  providing  on  the  ground  floor  a  large,  well-lighted 
hall,  supplied  with  newspapers,  books,  harmless  games,  writ- 
ing materials,  etc.  Lectures  and  entertainments  are  given 
in  this  room,  and  there  is  also  an  officers'  room.  A  gymna- 
sium, with  classrooms  for  instruction  in  navigation,  Bible 
classes,  etc.,  are  a  part  of  the  scheme.  The  church,  on  the 
top  floor,  is  used  for  mission  services  on  week-days  and 
Sundays,  including  the  administration  of  the  Lord's  Supper. 
There  is  no  sleeping  accommodation  for  seamen  in  these 
institutes.  That  the  institutes  are  valued  is  shown  by  the 
numbers  frequenting  them,  and  by  the  pledges  against 
drink.  It  is  estimated  that,  in  the  course  of  the  year, 
at  several  of  the  institutes,  from  two  to  three  thousand 
different  sailors  attend  week-day  services.  "  The  dual  insti- 
tute, half  church  and  half  institute,  is,"  says  Commander 
Dawson,  "a  great  success.  It  is  greatly  valued  by  sailors 
as  a  place  of  refuge.  We  are  supplementing  the  mission- 
rooms  by  these  new  buildings,  in  which  the  place  of  worship 

176  Woman's  Mission. 

is  under  the  same  roof  as  the  place  of  recreation,  the  latter 
being  the  feeder  of  the  former." 

The  British  and  Foreign  Seamen's  Society  is  another  of 
the  great  agencies  brought  to  bear  on  seamen  all  over  the 
world.  It  has  its  head-quarters  in  Shadwell,  the  East  of 
London,  its  boats  on  the  Thames,  and  its  institutes,  including 
Lady  Ashburton's  Sailors'  Rest,  at  the  Docks.  Its  agencies 
are  found  all  over  the  world,  as  well  as  round  the  coasts  of 
the  United  Kingdom.  The  British  and  Foreign  Seamen's 
Society  believes  that  it  has  a  mission  to  sailors,  large  as  the 
manifold  nature  of  man,  and  wide  as  the  sea.  This  society 
is  the  oldest  of  our  sailors'  societies.  Its  flag  is  borne  by 
249  shipmasters  and  fifty-four  helpers  on  all  seas.  It  has 
active  relationship  with  eighty-three  ports.  In  these  ports 
are  seventy-two  institutes,  Bethels,  rests,  reading-rooms,  or 
homes,  and  three  floating  Bethels.  By  the  munificence  of 
Louisa,  Lady  Ashburton,  a  fine  pile  of  buildings  for  the 
benefit  of  seamen  has  been  built  at  the  Victoria  and  Albert 
Docks,  and  another  at  the  Millwall  Docks,  on  the  river 
Thames.  These  are  both  worked  by  agents  of  the  society. 
The  work  of  this  society  is  so  extensive  that  it  is  impossible 
to  chronicle  it  here. 

The  Wesleyan  Army  and  Navy  Committee  have  done 
much  for  the  good  of  seamen  of  the  Royal  Navy.  They 
have  Homes  at  Chatham,  Devonport,  Pembroke,  Malta, 
Bombay,  Simon's  Town,  and  Sydney,  N.S.W.  The  Homes 
are  open  to  all  denominations,  but  are  especially  intended 
as  a  rendezvous  for  Wesleyans  in  the  service.  The  Rev. 
J.  Laverack,  writing  from  Malta,  says,  "The  Soldiers'  and 
Sailors'  Home,  Floriana,  Malta,  was  established  in  1871, 
and  has  remained  open  without  charge  to  soldiers  and  sailors. 
Such  has  been  its  prosperity  that  enlargement  after  enlarge- 
ment has  been  necessary,  and  for  some  years  it  has  supported 
itself  by  the  profits  on  the  business.  It  contains  refreshment,, 
reading,  writing,  and  recreation  rooms,  lecture-room,  prayer- 
room,  beds,  baths,  etc.  Religious  and  temperance  meetings 
are  held  regularly.  The  home  is  under  the  direction  of  the 
officiating  Wesleyan  chaplain. 

In  Madeira,  at  Funchal,  an  undenominational  Sailors' 
Rest  is  carried  on  by  Mr.  W.  G.  Smart ;  it  was  opened  in 

Work  among  Sailors.  177 

1882,  and  three  thousand  men  entered  the  Rest  in  one  year. 
Mr.  Smart  visits  all  ships,  English  and  American,  and  does 
good  work.  In  Yokohama,  Japan,  the  Rev.  W.  and  Mrs. 
Austen  have  an  excellent  home  for  seamen,  which  is  fre- 
quented by  large  numbers.  Our  British  seamen  speak 
warmly  of  the  kindness  and  friendliness  shown  to  them  by 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  Austen,  who  have  been  the  means  of  saving 
numbers  from  destruction,  moral  and  spiritual. 

The  Rev.  J.  Shearston,  of  Sydney,  N.S.W.,  has  built  and 
opened  a  splendid  home  for  seamen,  which  is  thoroughly 
appreciated  by  the  men  on  that  distant  station. 

I  might  mention  many  others,  but  the  limit  of  this  paper 
warns  me  to  draw  to  a  close,  or  in  nautical  language  to 
"  pipe  down." 

Sailors'  Homes  founded  on  broad  lines,  undenominational, 
catholic,  bright,  teetotal,  with  (if  possible)  a  personal  and 
motherly  element  pervading  them,  where  Jack  can  feel  free 
and  happy,  where  he  may  smoke  his  pipe,  play  his  games, 
read  his  paper,  yarn  with  his  shipmates — where,  if  necessary, 
his  money  can  be  taken  care  of  as  well  as  himself,  and  where 
he  can  be  won  to  temperance  and  godliness — these  are  in- 
deed needed  at  every  port  all  over  the  civilized  world ;  so 
that  Jack  may  find  friends  as  well  as  foes  wherever  he  lands, 
and  may  be  indeed  the  brave,  true,  God-fearing  man  that 
can  guard  his  country  or  extend  her  commerce. 


178  Woman's  Mission. 




Atithoress  of"  The  Schonberg-Cotta  Family" 

THE  object  of  this  Home  is  to  minister  to  those  for  whose 
restoration  to  health  human  aid  can  do  no  more,  to  alleviate 
the  last  sufferings  of  hopeless  disease,  and  to  raise  the  hearts 
of  the  sufferers  to  the  immortal  hopes  which  Christianity 
reveals  beyond  death. 

Hospitals  must  keep  to  their  great  purpose  of  fighting, 
and  if  possible  conquering,  disease.  When  all  hope  of  success 
in  this  great  battle  is  gone,  the  place  of  the  patient  who  can- 
not be  restored  to  health,  has  to  be  yielded  to  another  of  the 
great  multitude  of  sick  folk  always  in  need  of  healing,  who 
may  be  healed.  And  the  hopeless  dying  sufferer  has  to  be 
sent  back,  in  many  cases,  to  a  home  where  skilled  nursing  is 
impossible  and  suitable  diet  unattainable ;  has  to  be  trans- 
ferred from  a  place  where  every  possible  remedy  and  allevia- 
tion that  medical  science  and  trained  nursing  can  invent  and 
apply,  are  given  with  unstinted  generosity,  to  be  a  burden, 
and  often  a  source  of  infection,  in  the  impoverished  home 
where  none  of  these  comforts  can  be  had,  though  the  loving 
hearts  there  would,  and  do  give  their  life-blood  in  wearing 
toil  and  privation  to  procure  them. 

The  only  alternative  is  the  workhouse  infirmary,  which, 
greatly  as  the  management  and  nursing  are  improved,  is  by 
the  mere  necessity  of  its  being  open  to  the  lowest,  a  hard 
last  refuge  for  those  who  have  been  brought  up  respectably, 
and  have  resolutely  struggled  to  keep  up  the  comfort  and 
sacredness  of  a  home. 

"  Friedenheim  " — Home  of  Peace  for  the  Dying.   1 79 

It  is  at  this  point  of  hopeless  need  that  the  door  of  this 
Home  is  opened  to  the  sufferer.  It  is  essentially  woman's 
work,  and  seven  years  ago  this  particular  kind  of  misery  was 
pressed  on  the  heart  of  Miss  Davidson,  the  foundress  of 
"  Friedenheim."  She  started  with  her  own  funds,  and  opened 
a  small  house  where  five  men  and  five  women  could  be 
received.  To  this  work  she  devoted  herself  entirely,  herself 
and  all  she  had  in  her  power ;  and  with  the  help  of  friends 
carried  it  on  for  six  years.  One  hundred  and  seventy  patients 
were  welcomed  there,  and  of  these  eighty-three  died  in  the 
Home,  full  of  thankfulness  for  the  efficient  and  loving  care 
which  had  brightened  and  sustained  the  last  hours  of  feeble- 
ness and  pain. 

Through  Miss  Davidson's  efforts  the  demand  for  the 
extension  of  such  a  work  became  evident  to  many  medical 
men  and  others,  who  had  long  felt  the  need,  and  now  saw 
it  practically  met.  With  the  help  of  friends,  Miss  Davidson 
has  purchased  the  lease  (for  fifty  years)  of  a  most  suitable 
house  in  Upper  Avenue  Road,  close  to  Swiss  Cottage 
Station,  in  the  northern  outskirts  of  London,  in  which 
she  can  now  receive  forty  patients.  The  house  is  large 
and  airy,  with  lofty,  sunny  rooms,  wide  hall  and  staircases  ; 
and  a  lift  has  been  supplied.  There  is  a  separate  wing 
for  the  staff  of  trained  lady  nurses  and  probationers.  The 
large  garden  ensures  fresh  air  and  quiet.  The  men  are  on 
the  first  floor,  the  women  on  the  next,  both  floors  having 
balconies  to  the  south  ;  and  there  is  a  third  floor  especially 
intended  for  those  who  have  known  better  days,  and  who  will 
be  thankful  to  contribute  according  to  their  means.  The  new 
Home  was  opened  on  November  7,  1892,  by  the  Duchess  of 
Teck.  It  is  called  "Friedenheim"  (Home  of  Peace),  and 
those  who  have  seen  it  recognize  the  appropriateness  of  the 
name,  and  what  the  peace  is  to  the  poor  dying  sufferers,  of 
knowing  they  have  found  a  haven  from  which  they  will  be 
tossed  out  no  more.  The  Home  has  been  found  especially 
welcome  in  cases  of  consumption  which  ordinary  hospitals  do 
not  receive,  and  which  even  hospitals  expressly  intended  for 
them,  by  the  very  nature  and  aim  of  a  hospital  as  a  place  of 
cure,  cannot  retain  when  cure  is  impossible.  Friedenheim  is 
entirely  supported  by  voluntary  subscriptions.  Two  similar 

180  Woman1  s  Mission. 

homes   have   been   lately  begun,  suggested   by  it ;    one   in 
Holland,  and  another  in  London.* 

A  brief  account  of  a  visit  paid  to  the  Home  may  give  a 
clearer  idea  than  general  statements  can  of  what  it  is 

The  first  characteristic  that  impresses  you  is  that  it  is 
a  home,  and  not  a  mere  institution  for  temporary  assistance. 
The  fact  of  its  having  been  a  real  home,  dear  to  a  family, 
tends  to  produce  the  impression.  Not  mere  necessaries,  but 
comfort  and  beauty,  have  been  thought  of  in  the  making  of 
it.  The  former  owner,  in  giving  it  up  for  a  quarter  of  the 
sum  it  had  cost  him,  said  he  liked  to  think  how  pleased  his 
wife  would  have  been  to  know  that  the  sunny  rooms  which 
had  been  so  pleasant  to  her  in  her  long  last  illness  would  be 
a  comfort  to  others.  One  sees  this  home-like  character  in 
every  arrangement ;  in  the  neat  and  pretty  little  trays  and 
services  for  the  meals  in  bed,  in  the  wards,  kitchens,  and 
pantries.  The  furniture  has  not  been  bought  in  quantities 
monotonously  alike.  It  is  a  collection  of  gifts.  One  kind 
old  gentleman,  a  widower,  not  caring  to  keep  up  his  house 
alone,  and  choosing  to  end  his  days  in  lodgings,  sent  all  his 
furniture,  four  van-loads,  to  Friedenheim  ;  and  others  have 
supplemented  the  generous  gift  with  various  things  pleasant 
to  the  eye,  and  good  for  use.  There  are  pictures  in  the  hall, 
in  the  sitting-room  of  the  staff-nurses,  good  carpets,  hand- 
some tables  and  chairs,  bookcases,  inlaid  cabinets,  and  in 
the  wards  comfortable  easy-chairs,  invalid  couches,  and 
screens.  One  lady  in  her  last  illness  left  to  the  Home  all 
the  appliances,  bed-table,  bed-rest,  and  other  things,  which 
had  been  a  relief  to  her.  There  is  no  dull  uniformity  in  the 
invalid  dress,  or  bed-coverings,  or  anything.  On  the  walls 
are  illuminated  texts,  on  the  chimney-pieces  are  pictures,  and 
photographs  of  those  after  whom  some  of  the  wards  are 
named.  Over  one  fireplace  is  the  portrait  of  the  young  Duke 
of  Clarence  presented  by  the  Princess  May  ;  over  another,  in 
the  Frederica  Ward,  the  lovely  bright  face  of  Frederica 
Dunbar,  the  "  friend  "  to  whom  the  Duchess  of  Teck  alluded 

*  There  is  also  a  hospice  for  the  dying  in  Dublin,  of  which  a  touching 
account  is  given  by  Mrs.  Gilbert  at  the  close  of  her  Paper  "  On  the  Philanthropic 
Work  of  Women  in  Ireland."— B.-C. 

"  Friedenheim  " — Home  of  Peace  for  the  Dying.   1 8 1 

so  tenderly  in  her  speech  on  the  opening  day.  The  three 
paying  wards  were  named  after  the  Princess  Christian  and 
her  daughters,  when  she  visited  Friedenheim  privately, 
entering  into  every  detail  with  comprehending  sympathy  and 
interest.  But  the  real  pathetic  reason  for  this  look  of  home 
in  the  place  is  from  its  essential  nature.  Those  who  enter 
there  are  not  passing  through,  after  a  brief  stay  of  a  few 
weeks.  They  have  the  inexpressible  sense  of  repose  given 
by  the  knowledge  that  they  need  never  go  away.  The  weary 
search  for  fresh  "letters,"  the  fear  of  wearing  out  their 
welcome,  or  overtaxing  the  resources  of  relations  or  friends, 
are  gone  for  ever.  They  are  welcome  here  as  long  as  they  can 
stay,  as  long  as  they  have  anything  to  do  with  our  poor 
earthly  needs.  They  are  no  burden  to  any  one.  The  Home 
is  their  own — meant  for  them,  made  for  them.  The  longer 
the  feeble  failing  strength  can  be  upheld,  the  better  the 
devoted  nurses  will  be  pleased.  Every  alleviation  of  suffer- 
ing is  a  victory  of  love  and  patience.  The  skill  of  the  trained 
nursing  is  not  wasted  because  it  is  preparing  for  the  rest  and 
service  of  the  Home  above,  instead  of  a  return  to  the  toil  and 
struggle  here.  The  ceaseless  services  endear  patients  and 
nurses  to  each  other.  They  do  not  wish  to  part :  the  poor 
sufferers  will  be  missed  when  the  last  tender  ministry  has 
been  rendered. 

And  need  I  say  how  the  atmosphere  of  peace  and  tender- 
ness opens  the  hearts  of  the  sufferers  to  comprehend  the  love 
which  inspires  it,  to  anticipate  the  perfect  peace  of  the  place 
in  the  Father's  House  that  love  is  preparing  ?  Christianity, 
in  all  the  unfathomable  depths  of  its  love  and  peace,  steals 
softly  into  hearts  so  surrounded  with  its  loveliest  fruits. 
They  breathe-in  new  faith  in  goodness,  in  happiness,  in 
Christ  the  Redeemer  and  Healer,  in  the  Father  who  "even 
as  a  father  pities  his  children,"  pities  each  of  them.  The 
doubt  of  Divine  goodness,  the  struggle  with  the  Divine  will, 
melt  imperceptibly  away.  Trust,  submission,  acquiescence, 
thankfulness,  peace,  hope,  joy,  flow  softly  into  heart  after 
heart :  those  who  are  with  them  see  it  in  the  change  in  the 
worn  and  furrowed  faces — of  those,  for  instance,  who  are  there 
at  this  moment. 

In  one  corner  of  the  men's  ward  lies  a  postman,  one  of 

182  Woman  s  Mission. 

those  who  serve  us  so  faithfully  through  cold  and  heat,  night 
and  day.  His  last  journey  in  our  service  is  done  ;  no  need  to 
struggle  through  another  day's  round.  He  is  not  too  ill  to 
find  refreshment  in  being  moved  by  day  to  an  invalid  couch, 
and  there  it  is  for  him  by  the  cosy  fireside.  In  another  corner 
is  one  whose  life  has  been  a  waste  of  many  opportunities — 
faithfully  watched  over  and  helped  by  a  good  brother,  and 
never  despaired  of  through  all  the  turns  upward  and  falls 
downward  ;  now  at  last  gently  won  back  by  repentance,  and 
faith  in  Him  Who  seeks  until  He  finds.  Those  in  this  Home 
would  never  be  content  unless  the  reproach  rest  on  it,  "  This 
Man  receiveth  sinners,"  unless  it  could  give  restoration  to  the 
lives  that  have  failed,  as  well  as  completion  to  those  who  have 

In  one  of  the  women's  wards  is  a  touching  group  of  six. 
One  is  a  servant,  who  said  with  beaming  face  and  trembling 
voice,  "  Every  comfort  that  heart  could  wish  ; "  having  minis- 
tered to  others,  she  is  now  tenderly  ministered  to  herself. 
Another  is  a  sick  nurse,  receiving  what  she  has  given  to 
many.  Her  eyes  are  weak,  and  there  are  plans  for  shading 
them  from  the  light.  In  one  corner  is  a  crippled  girl  of 
seventeen ;  for  six  years  she  was  well  cared  for  in  a  Home  for 
Crippled  Children,  where  it  is  not  possible,  with  justice  to  the 
other  inmates,  to  give  the  care  needed  for  the  last  difficult 
days.  Another,  with  the  delicate  beauty  of  consumption,  is 
propped  up  on  her  pillows,  happy  in  being  able  to  help  for 
a  little  while  by  sewing  at  a  nurse's  apron.  She  is  an  orphan 
without  any  relations.  She  worked  to  the  last  moment  in  a 
laundry  ;  and  when  her  strength  failed,  friends  had  cared  for 
her  to  the  extent  of  their  power.  In  another  ward  is  a  young 
married  woman  who  had  no  friends  to  nurse  her,  and  whose 
husband  had  to  be  out  all  day  to  earn  the  daily  bread.  When 
she  first  came  the  bitterness  of  death  was  not  on  her,  and 
there  was  revolt  against  the  loss  of  all  that  was  dear  to  her 
in  life.  But  all  that  gently  melted  into  trust  and  peace. 
She  had  a  quiet  nook  to  herself  screened  off,  where  her 
husband  could  be  with  her  alone  whenever  he  came. 

It  is,  indeed,  no  mere  work  of  benevolence,  granting  what 
cannot  in  justice  be  refused.  It  is  love,  giving  as  much  as  it 
can — ceaselessly  on  the  watch,  with  tender  inventiveness,  to 

"  Friedenheim  " — Home  of  Peace  for  the  Dying.   183 

relieve  each  individual  pang  and  uneasiness.  Suffering  only 
quickens  its  tenderness ;  sin  calls  out  the  deepest  yearnings  of 
its  compassion. 

The  Christian  religion  has  remedies  not  only  for  those 
weary  with  the  sorrows  of  life,  but  for  those  wounded  or 
crippled  by  its  sins.  It  meets  them  not  only  with  the  angels' 
hymn  of  good  will  to  men,  but  with  the  redeeming  agony, 
the  "  Father,  forgive  them,"  of  the  Cross.  The  love  with  which 
they  have  been  loved  is,  indeed,  love  stronger  than  death — 
love  which  abolishes  death,  living  through  death  and  beyond 
it,  in  the  life  beyond  it  for  ever ;  and,  therefore,  love  which 
inspires  and  enables  those  loving  Christian  women  to  make 
a  home  for  the  dying. 

184  Woman's  Mission. 


I. — A  NEW  art  and  a  new  science  has  been  created  since  and 
within  the  last  forty  years.  And  with  it  a  new  profession — 
so  they  say ;  we  say,  calling.  One  would  think  this  had 
been  created  or  discovered  for  some  new  want  or  local  want. 
Not  so.  The  want  is  nearly  as  old  as  the  world,  nearly  as 
large  as  the  world,  as  pressing  as  life  or  death.  It  is  that  of 
sickness.  And  the  art  is  that  of  nursing  the  sick.  Please 
mark — nursing  the  sick ;  not  nursing  sickness.  We  will  call 
the  art  nursing  proper.  This  is  generally  practised  by  women 
under  scientific  heads — physicians  and  surgeons.  This  is 
one  of  the  distinctions  between  nursing  proper  and  medicine, 
though  a  very  famous  and  successful  physician  did  say,  when 
asked  how  he  treated  pneumonia :  "  I  do  not  treat  pneumonia, 
I  treat  the  person  who  has  pneumonia."  This  is  the  reason 
why  nursing  proper  can  only  be  taught  by  the  patient's  bed- 
side, and  in  the  sick-room  or  ward.  Neither  can  it  be  taught 
by  lectures  or  by  books,  though  these  are  valuable  accessories, 
if  used  as  such  ;  otherwise  what  is  in  the  book  stays  in  the 

II. — But  since  God  did  not  mean  mothers  to  be  always 
accompanied  by  doctors,  there  is  a  want  older  still  and  larger 
still.  And  a  new  science  has  also  been  created  to  meet  it,  but 
not  the  accompanying  art,  as  far  as  households  are  concerned, 
families,  schools,  workshops ;  though  it  is  an  art  which  con- 
cerns every  family  in  the  world,  which  can  only  be  taught 
from  the  home  in  the  home. 

This  is  the  art  of  health,  which  every  mother,  girl,  mistress, 
teacher,  child's  nurse,  every  woman  ought  practically  to  learn. 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  185 

But  she  is  supposed  to  know  it  all  by  instinct,  like  a  bird. 
Call  it  health-nursing  or  general  nursing — what  you  please. 
Upon  womankind  the  national  health,  as  far  as  the  household 
goes,  depends.  She  must  recognize  the  laws  of  life,  the  laws 
of  health,  as  the  nurse  proper  must  recognize  the  laws  of 
sickness,  the  causes  of  sickness,  the  symptoms  of  the  disease, 
or  the  symptoms,  it  may  be,  not  of  the  disease,  but  of  the 
nursing,  bad  or  good. 

It  is  the  want  of  the  art  of  health,  then,  of  the  cultivation 
of  health,  which  has  only  lately  been  discovered  ;  and  great 
organizations  have  been  made  to  meet  it,  and  a  whole  litera- 
ture created.  We  have  medical  officers  of  health ;  immense 
sanitary  works.  We  have  not  nurses,  "  missioners "  of 

How  to  bring  these  great  medical  officers  to  bear  on  the 
families,  the  homes  and  households,  and  habits  of  the  people, 
rich  as  well  as  poor,  has  not  been  discovered,  although  family 
comes  before  Acts  of  Parliament.  One  would  think  "  family  " 
had  no  health  to  look  after.  And  woman,  the  great  mistress 
of  family  life,  by  whom  everybody  is  born,  has  not  been 
practically  instructed  at  all.  Everything  has  come  before 
health.  We  are  not  to  look  after  health,  but  after  sickness. 
Well,  we  are  to  be  convinced  of  error  before  we  are  convinced 
of  right ;  the  discovery  of  sin  comes  before  the  discovery  of 
righteousness,  we  are  told  on  the  highest  authority. 

Though  everybody  must  be  born,  there  is  probably  no 
knowledge  more  neglected  than  this,  nor  more  important  for 
the  great  mass  of  women,  viz.  how  to  feed,  wash,  and  clothe 
the  baby,  and  how  to  secure  the  utmost  cleanliness  for 
mother  and  infant.  Midwives  certainly  neither  practise  nor 
teach  it.  And  I  have  even  been  informed  that  many  lady 
doctors  consider  that  they  have  "  nothing  to  do  with  the 
baby,"  and  that  they  should  "lose  caste  with  the  men 
doctors"  if  they  attempted  it.  One  would  have  thought 
that  the  "  ladies  "  "  lost  caste  "  with  themselves  for  not  doing 
it,  and  that  it  was  the  veiy  reason  why  we  wished  for  the 
"  lady  doctors,"  for  them  to  assume  these  cares  which  touch 
the  very  health  of  everybody  from  the  beginning.  But  I 
have  known  the  most  admirable  exceptions  to  this  most 
cruel  rule. 

1 86  Woman  s  Mission. 

I  know  of  no  systematic  teaching,  for  the  ordinary 
midwife  or  the  ordinary  mother,  how  to  keep'  the  baby  in 
health,  certainly  the  most  important  function  to  make 
a  healthy  nation.  The  human  baby  is  not  an  invalid  ;  but 
it  is  the  most  tender  form  of  animal  life.  This  is  only 
one,  but  a  supremely  important  instance  of  the  want  of 

III. — As  the  discovery  of  error  comes  before  that  of  right, 
both  in  order  and  in  fact,  we  will  take  first:  (a)  Sickness, 
nursing  the  sick ;  training  needful ;  (£)  Health,  nursing  the 
well  at  home  ;  practical  teaching  needful.  We  will  then 
refer  to  (IV.)  some  dangers  to  which  nurses  are  subject ; 
(V.)  the  benefit  of  combination  ;  and  (VI.)  our  hopes  for  the 

What  is  sickness  ?  Sickness  or  disease  is  Nature's  way 
of  getting  rid  of  the  effects  of  conditions  which  have 
interfered  with  health.  It  is  Nature's  attempt  to  cure. 
We  have  to  help  her.  Diseases  are,  practically  speaking, 
adjectives,  not  noun  substantives.  What  is  health  ?  Health 
is  not  only  to  be  well,  but  to  be  able  to  use  well  every  power 
we  have.  What  is  nursing  ?  Both  kinds  of  nursing  are  to 
put  us  in  the  best  possible  conditions  for  Nature  to  restore 
or  to  preserve  health — to  prevent  or  to  cure  disease  or  injury. 
Upon  nursing  proper,  under  scientific  heads,  physicians  or 
surgeons,  must  depend  partly,  perhaps  mainly,  whether 
Nature  succeeds  or  fails  in  her  attempts  to  cure  by  sickness. 
Nursing  proper  is  therefore  to  help  the  patient  suffering  from 
disease  to  live — just  as  health-nursing  is  to  keep  or  put  the 
constitution  of  the  healthy  child  or  human  being  in  such  a 
state  as  to  have  no  disease. 

What  is  training?  Training  is  to  teach  the  nurse  to 
help  the  patient  to  live.  Nursing  the  sick  is  an  art,  and  an 
art  requiring  an  organized,  practical,  and  scientific  training ; 
for  nursing  is  the  skilled  servant  of  medicine,  surgery,  and 
hygiene.  A  good  nurse  of  twenty  years  ago  had  not  to  do 
the  twentieth  part  of  what  she  is  required  by  her  physician 
or  surgeon  to  do  now ;  and  so,  after  the  year's  training,  she 
must  be  still  training  under  instruction  in  her  first  and  even 
second  year's  hospital  service.  The  physician  prescribes  for 
supplying  the  vital  force,  but  the  nurse  supplies  it.  Training 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  187 

is  to  teach  the  nurse  how  God  makes  health,  and  how  He 
makes  disease.  Training  is  to  teach  a  nurse  to  know  her 
business,  that  is,  to  observe  exactly,  to  understand,  to  know 
exactly,  to  do,  to  tell  exactly,  in  such  stupendous  issues  as 
life  and  death,  health  and  disease.  Training  has  to  make 
her,  not  servile,  but  loyal  to  medical  orders  and  authorities. 
True  loyalty  to  orders  cannot  be  without  the  independent 
sense  or  energy  of  responsibility,  which  alone  secures  real 
trustworthiness.  Training  is  to  teach  the  nurse  how  to 
handle  the  agencies  within  our  control  which  restore  health 
and  life,  in  strict,  intelligent  obedience  to  the  physician's  or 
surgeon's  power  and  knowledge ;  how  to  keep  the  health 
mechanism  prescribed  to  her  in  gear.  Training  must  show 
her  how  the  effects  on  life  of  nursing  may  be  calculated  with 
nice  precision,  such  care  or  carelessness,  such  a  sick-rate, 
such  a  duration  of  case,  such  a  death-rate. 

What  is  discipline?  Discipline  is  the  essence  of  moral 
training.  The  best  lady-trainer  of  probationer  nurses  I  know 
says,  "  It  is  education,  instruction,  training — all  that,  in  fact, 
goes  to  the  full  development  of  our  faculties,  moral,  physical, 
and  spiritual,  not  only  for  this  life,  but  looking  on  this  life  as 
the  training-ground  for  the  future  and  higher  life.  Then 
discipline  embraces  order,  method  ;  and  as  we  gain  some 
knowledge  of  the  laws  of  Nature  ('  God's  laws '),  we  not  only 
see  order,  method,  a  place  for  everything,  each  its  own  work, 
but  we  find  no  waste  of  material  or  force  or  space  ;  we  find, 
too,  no  hurry,  and  we  learn  to  have  patience  with  our  circum- 
stances and  ourselves  ;  and  so,  as  we  go  on  learning,  we 
become  more  disciplined,  more  content  to  work  where  we  are 
placed,  more  anxious  to  fill  our  appointed  work  than  to  see 
the  result  thereof.  And  so  God,  no  doubt,  gives  us  the 
required  patience  and  steadfastness  to  continue  in  our  '  blessed 
drudgery/  which  is  the  discipline  He  sees  best  for  most  of  us." 

What  makes  a  good  training-school  for  nurses  ?  The 
most  favourable  conditions  for  the  administration  of  the 
hospital  are  : — 

First.  A  good  lay  administration  with  a  chief  executive 
officer,  a  civilian  (be  he  called  treasurer  or  permanent  chair- 
man of  committee),  with  power  delegated  to  him  by  the 
committee,  who  gives  his  time.  This  is  the  main  thing. 

1 88  W&mcwis  Mission. 

With  a  consulting  committee,  meeting  regularly,  of  business 
men,  taking  the  opinions  of  the  medical  officers.  The  medical 
officers  on  the  committee  must  be  only  consulting  medical 
officers,  not  executive.  If  the  latter,  they  have  often  to  judge 
in  their  own  case,  which  is  fatal.  Doctors  are  not  necessarily 
administrators  (the  executive),  any  more  than  the  executive 
are  necessarily  doctors.  Vest  the  charge  of  financial  matters 
and  general  supervision,  and  the  whole  administration  of  the 
hospital  or  infirmary,  in  the  board  or  committee  acting 
through  the  permanent  chairman  or  other  officer  who  is  re- 
sponsible to  that  board  or  committee. 

Secondly.  A  strong  body  of  medical  officers,  visiting  and 
resident,  and  a  medical  school. 

Thirdly.  The  government  of  hospitals  in  the  point  of 
view  of  the  real  responsibility  for  the  conduct  and  discipline 
of  the  nurses  being  thrown  upon  the  matron  (superintendent 
of  nurses),  who  is  herself  a  trained  nurse,  and  the  real  head  of 
all  the  female  staff  of  the  hospital.  Vest  the  whole  respon- 
sibility for  nursing,  internal  management,  for  discipline  and 
training  of  nurses  in  this  one  female  head  of  the  nursing  staff, 
whatever  called.  She  should  be  herself  responsible  directly 
to  the  constituted  hospital  authorities,  and  all  her  nurses  and 
servants  should,  in  the  performance  of  their  duties,  be  respon- 
sible, in  matters  of  conduct  and  discipline,  to  her  only.  No 
good  ever  comes  of  the  constituted  authorities  placing  them- 
selves in  the  office  which  they  have  sanctioned  her  occupying. 
No  good  ever  comes  of  any  one  interfering  between  the  head 
of  the  nursing  establishment  and  her  nurses.  It  is  fatal  to 
discipline.  Without  such  discipline  the  main  object  of  the 
whole  hospital  organization,  viz.  to  carry  out  effectively  the 
orders  of  the  physicians  and  surgeons  with  regard  to  the 
treatment  of  the  patients,  will  not  be  attained. 

Having  then,  as  a  basis,  a  well-organized  hospital,  we  re- 
quire, as  further  conditions:  (l)  a  special  organization  for  tJie 
purpose  of  training,  that  is,  where  systematic  technical  training 
is  given  in  the  wards  to  the  probationers ;  where  it  is  the 
business  of  the  ward  "  sisters  "  to  train  them,  to  keep  records 
of  their  progress,  to  take  "  stock "  of  them  ;  where  the  pro- 
bationers are  not  set  down  in  the  wards  to  "  pick  up "  as 
they  can.  (2)  A  good  "  home "  for  the  probationers  in  the 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  189 

hospital,  where  they  learn  moral  discipline — for  technical 
training  is  only  half  the  battle,  perhaps  less  than  half — where 
the  probationers  are  steadily  "mothered"  by  a  "home" 
sister  (class  mistress). 

(3)  Staff  of  training  school,  (a)  A  trained  matron  over 
all,  who  is  not  only  a  housekeeper,  but  distinctly  the  head 
and  superintendent  of  the  nursing,  (b}  A  "  home "  sister 
(assistant  superintendent)— making  the  "  home  "  a  real  home 
to  the  probationers,  giving  them  classes,  disciplining  their 
life,  (c)  Ward  Sisters  (head  nurses  of  wards)  who  have 
been  trained  in  the  school — to  a  certain  degree  permanent, 
that  is,  not  constantly  changing.  For  they  are  the  key  to 
the  whole  situation,  matron  influencing  through  them  nurses 
(day  and  night),  probationers,  ward-maids,  patients.  For, 
after  all,  the  hospital  is  for  the  good  of  the  patients,  not 
for  the  good  of  the  nurses.  And  the  patients  are  not  there 
to  teach  probationers  upon.  Rather,  probationers  had  better 
not  be  there  at  all,  unless  they  understand  that  they  are 
there  for  the  patients,  and  not  for  themselves. 

There  should  be  an  entente  cordiale  between  matron, 
assistant  matrons,  "home"  sister,  and  whatever  other 
female  head  there  is,  with  frequent  informal  meetings,  ex- 
changing information,  or  there  can  be  no  unity  in  training. 

Nursing  proper  means,  besides  giving  the  medicines  and 
stimulants  prescribed,  or  the  surgical  appliances,  the  proper 
use  of  fresh  air  (ventilation),  light,  warmth,  cleanliness,  quiet, 
and  the  proper  choosing  and  giving  of  diet,  all  at  the  least 
expense  of  vital  power  to  the  sick.  And  so  health-at-home 
nursing  means  exactly  the  same  proper  use  of  the  same 
natural  elements,  with  as  much  life-giving  power  as  possible 
to  the  healthy. 

We  have  awakened,  though  still  far  from  the  mark,  to  the 
need  of  training  or  teaching  for  nursing  proper.  But  while 
a  large  part  of  so-called  civilization  has  been  advancing 
in  direct  opposition  to  the  laws  of  health,  we  uncivilized 
persons,  the  women,  in  whose  hands  rests  the  health  of 
babies,  household  health,  still  persevere  in  thinking  health 
something  that  grows  of  itself  (as  Topsy  said,  "God  made 
me  so  long,  and  I  grow'd  the  rest  myself"),  while  we  don't 
take  the  same  care  of  human  health  as  we  do  of  that  of  our 

igo  Woman s  Mission. 

plants,  which,  we  know  very  well,  perish  in  the  rooms,  dark 
and  close,  to  which  we  too  often  confine  human  beings, 
especially  in  their  sleeping-roorns  and  workshops. 

The  life-duration  of  babies  is  the  most  "  delicate  test "  of 
health  conditions.  What  is  the  proportion  of  the  whole 
population  of  cities  or  country  which  dies  before  it  is  five 
years  old?  We  have  tons  of  printed  knowledge  on  the 
subject  of  hygiene  and  sanitation.  The  causes  of  enormous 
child  mortality  are  perfectly  well  known ;  they  are  chiefly 
want  of  cleanliness,  want  of  fresh  air,  careless  dieting  and 
clothing,  want  of  white-washing,  dirty  feather-beds  and 
bedding — in  one  word,  want  of  household  care  of  health.  The 
remedies  are  just  as  well  known  ;  but  how  much  of  this  know- 
ledge has  been  brought  into  the  homes  and  households  and 
habits  of  the  people,  poor  or  even  rich  ?  Infection,  germs, 
and  the  like  are  now  held  responsible  as  carriers  of  disease. 
"  Mystic  rites/'  such  as  disinfection  and  antiseptics,  take  the 
place  of  sanitary  measures  and  hygiene. 

The  true  criterion  of  ventilation,  for  instance,  is  to  step 
out  of  the  bedroom  or  sick-room  in  the  morning  into  the 
open  air.  If  on  returning  to  it  you  feel  the  least  sensation 
of  closeness,  the  ventilation  has  not  been  enough,  and  that 
room  has  been  unfit  for  either  sick  or  well  to  sleep  in.  Here 
is  the  natural  test  provided  for  the  evil. 

The  laws  of  God — the  laws  of  life — are  always  conditional, 
always  inexorable.  But  neither  mothers,  nor  schoolmistresses, 
nor  nurses  of  children  are  practically  taught  how  to  work 
within  those  laws,  which  God  has  assigned  to  the  relations  of 
our  bodies  with  the  world  in  which  He  has  put  them.  In 
other  words,  we  do  not  study,  we  do  not  practise  the  laws 
which  make  these  bodies,  into  which  He  has  put  our  minds, 
healthy  or  unhealthy  organs  of  those  minds ;  we  do  not 
practise  how  to  give  our  children  healthy  existences. 

It  would  be  utterly  unfair  to  lay  all  the  fault  upon  us 
women,  none  upon  the  buildings,  drains,  water-supply.  There 
are  millions  of  cottages,  more  of  town  dwellings,  even  of  the 
rich,  where  it  is  utterly  impossible  to  have  fresh  air. 

As  for  the  workshops,  workpeople  should  remember  that 
health  is  their  only  capital,  and  they  should  come  to  an 
understanding  among  themselves  not  only  to  have  the  means, 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  191 

but  to  use  the  means  to  secure  pure  air  in  their  places  of 
work,  which  is  one  of  the  prime  agents  of  health.  This 
would  be  worth  a  "  Trades  Union,"  almost  worth  a  strike. 

And  the  crowded  National  or  Board  School — in  it  how 
many  children's  epidemics  have  their  origin  !  And  the  great 
school  dormitories !  Scarlet  fever  and  measles  would  be  no 
more  ascribed  to  "  current  contagion,"  or  to  "  something  being 
much  about  this  year,"  but  to  its  right  cause  ;  nor  would 
"plague  and  pestilence"  be  said  to  be  "in  God's  hands," 
when,  so  far  as  we  know,  He  has  put  them  into  our  own. 

The  chief  "epidemic"  that  reigns  this  year  is  "folly." 
You  must  form  public  opinion.  The  generality  of  officials 
will  only  do  what  you  make  them.  You,  the  public,  must 
make  them  do  what  you  want.  But  while  public  opinion,  or 
the  voice  of  the  people,  is  somewhat  awake  to  the  building 
and  drainage  question,  it  is  not  at  all  awake  to  teaching 
mothers  and  girls  practical  hygiene.  Where,  then,  is  the 
remedy  for  this  ignorance  ? 

Health  in  the  home  can  only  be  learnt  from  the  home  and 
in  the  home.  Some  eminent  medical  officers,  referring  to 
ambulance  lectures,  nursing  lectures,  the  fashionable  hygienic 
lectures  of  the  day,  have  expressed  the  opinion  that  we  do 
no  more  than  play  with  our  subject  when  we  "sprinkle" 
lectures  over  the  community,  as  that  kind  of  teaching  is  not 
instruction,  and  can  never  be  education  ;  that  as  medicine 
and  surgery  can,  like  nursing,  only  be  properly  .taught  and 
properly  learnt  in  the  sick-room  and  by  the  patient's  side,  so 
sanitation  can  only  be  properly  taught  and  properly  learned 
in  the  home  and  house.  Some  attempts  have  been  made 
practically  to  realize  this,  to  which  subsequent  reference  will 
be  made. 

Wise  men  tell  us  that  it  is  expecting  too  much  to  suppose 
that  we  shall  do  any  real  good  by  giving  a  course  of  lectures 
on  selected  subjects  in  medicine,  anatomy,  physiology,  and 
other  such  cognate  subjects,  all  "  watered  down  "  to  suit  the 
public  palate,  which  is  really  the  sort  of  thing  one  tries  to  do 
in  that  kind  of  lectures. 

It  is  surely  not  enough  to  say,  "The  people  are  much 
interested  in  the  lecture."  The  point  is,  Did  they  practise  the 
lecture  in  their  own  homes  afterwards  ?  did  they  really  apply- 

192  Women's  Mission. 

themselves  to  household  health  and  the  means  of  improving 
it  ?  Is  anything  better  worth  practising  for  mothers  than  the 
health  of  their  families  ? 

The  work  we  are  speaking  of  has  nothing  to  do  with 
nursing  disease,  but  with  maintaining  health  by  removing  the 
things  which  disturb  it,  which  have  been  summed  up  in  the 
population  in  general  as  "dirt,  drink,  diet,  damp,  draughts, 

But  in  fact  the  people  do  not  believe  in  sanitation  as 
affecting  health,  as  preventing  disease.  They  think  it  is  a 
"fad"  of  the  doctors  and  rich  people.  They  believe  in 
catching  cold  and  in  infection,  catching  complaints  from 
each  other,  but  not  from  foul  earth,  bad  air,  or  impure  water. 
May  not  some  remedy  be  found  for  these  evils  by  direct- 
ing the  attention  of  the  public  to  the  training  of  health- 
nurses,  as  has  already  been  done  with  regard  to  the  training 
of  sick-nurses  ? 

The  scheme  before  referred  to  for  health-at-home  nursing 
has  arisen  in  connection  with  the  newly-constituted  adminis- 
tration of  counties  in  England,  by  which  the  local  authority 
of  the  county  (County  Council)  has  been  invested  by  Act 
of  Parliament  with  extended  sources  of  income  applicable  to 
the  teaching  of  nursing  and  sanitary  knowledge,  in  addition 
to  the  powers  which  they  already  possessed  for  sanitary 
inspection  and  the  prevention  of  infectious  diseases.  This 
scheme  is  framed  for  rural  districts,  but  the  general  principles 
are  also  applicable  to  urban  populations,  though,  where  great 
numbers  are  massed  together,  a  fresh  set  of  difficulties  must 
be  met,  and  different  treatment  be  necessary. 

The  scheme  contemplates  the  training  of  ladies,  so-called 
health  missioners,  so  as  to  qualify  them  to  give  instruction 
to  village  mothers  in:  (i)  The  sanitary  condition  of  the 
person,  clothes  and  bedding,  and  house.  (2)  The  manage- 
ment of  health  of  adults,  women  before  and  after  confine- 
ments, infants  and  children.  The  teaching  by  the  health 
missioners  would  be  given  by  lectures  in  the  villages,  followed 
by  personal  instruction  by  way  of  conversation  with  the 
mothers  in  their  own  homes,  and  would  be  directed  to  :  (i) 
The  condition  of  the  homes  themselves  in  a  sanitary  point 
of  view  ;  (2)  the  essential  principles  of  keeping  the  body  in 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  193 

health,  with  reference  to  the  skin,  the  circulation,  and  the 
digestion  ;  and  (3)  instruction  as  to  what  to  do  in  cases  of 
emergency  or  accident  before  the  doctor  comes,  and  with 
reference  to  the  management  of  infants  and  children. 

In  the  addendum  to  this  paper  will  be  found  a  scheme 
for  training  health-at-home  missioners,  a  syllabus  of  lectures 
given  by  the  medical  officer  to  the  health  missioners,  and  a 
syllabus  of  health  lectures  given  by  the  health  missioners  to 
village  mothers. 

IV.  Dangers. — After  only  a  generation  of  nursing  arise 
the  dangers  : — ( i )  Fashion  on  the  one  side,  and  its  conse- 
quent want  of  earnestness.  (2)  Mere  money-getting  on  the 
other.  Woman  does  not  live  by  wages  alone.  (3)  Making 
nursing  a  profession,  and  not  a  calling. 

What  is  it  to  feel  a  calling  for  anything  ?  Is  it  not  to  do 
our  work  in  it  to  satisfy  the  high  idea  of  what  is  the  right, 
the  best,  and  not  because  we  shall  be  found  out  if  we  don't 
do  it  ?  This  is  the  "  enthusiasm  "  which  every  one,  from  a 
shoemaker  to  a  sculptor,  must  have  in  order  to  follow  his 
"  calling  "  properly.  Now,  the  nurse  has  to  do  not  with  shoes 
or  with  marble,  but  with  living  human  beings. 

How,  then,  to  keep  up  the  high  tone  of  a  calling,  to 
"  make  your  calling  and  election  sure  "  ?  By  fostering  that 
bond  of  sympathy  (esprit  de  corps]  which  community  of  aims 
and  of  action  in  good  work  induces.  A  common  nursing 
home  in  the  hospital  for  hospital  nurses  and  for  probationer 
nurses  ;  a  common  home  for  private  nurses  during  intervals 
of  engagements,  whether  attached  to  a  hospital,  or  separate  ; 
a  home  for  district  nurses  (wherever  possible),  where  four  or 
five  can  live  together ;  all  homes  under  loving,  trained,  moral, 
and  religious,  as  well  as  technical,  superintendence,  such  as 
to  keep  up  the  tone  of  the  inmates  with  constant  supply  of 
all  material  wants  and  constant  sympathy.  Man  cannot  live 
by  bread  alone,  still  less  woman.  Wages  is  not  the  only 
question,  but  high  home-helps. 

The  want  of  these  is  more  especially  felt  among  private 
nurses.  The  development  in  recent  years  of  trained  private 
nursing,  z>.  of  nursing  one  sick  or  injured  person  at  a  time 
at  home,  is  astonishing.  But  not  less  astonishing  the  want 
of  knowledge  of  what  training  is,  and,  indeed,  of  what 


194  Woman's  Mission. 

woman  is.  The  danger  is  that  the  private  nurse  may  become 
an  irresponsible  nomad.  She  has  no  home.  There  can  be 
no  esprit  de  corps  if  the  "  corps  "  is  an  indistinguishable  mass 
of  hundreds,  perhaps  thousands,  of  women  unknown  to  her, 
except,  perhaps,  by  a  name  in  a  register.  All  community  of 
feeling  and  higher  tone  absents  itself.  And  too  often  the 
only  aim  left  is  to  force  up  wages.  Absence  of  the  nursing 
home  is  almost  fatal  to  keeping  up  to  the  mark.  Night 
nurses  even  in  hospitals,  and  even  district  nurses  (another 
branch  of  trained  nursing  of  the  sick  poor  without  alms- 
giving, which  has  developed  recently),*  and,  above  all,  private 
nurses,  deteriorate  if  they  have  no  esprit  de  corps,  no  com- 
mon home  under  wise  and  loving  supervision  for  intervals 
between  engagements.  What  they  can  get  in  holidays,  in 
comforts,  in  money,  these  good  women  say  themselves,  is  an 
increasing  danger  to  many.  In  private  nursing  the  nurse 
is  sometimes  spoilt,  sometimes  "  put  upon,"  sometimes  both. 

In  the  last  few  years,  private  trained  nursing,  district 
trained  nursing,  have,  as  has  been  said,  gained  immeasurably 
in  importance,  and  with  it  how  to  train,  how  to  govern  (in 
the  sense  of  keeping  up  to  the  highest  attainable  in  tone  and 
character,  as  well  as  in  technical  training),  must  gain  also 
immeasurably  in  importance,  must  constitute  almost  a  new 
starting-point.  Nursing  may  cease  to  be  a  calling  in  any 
better  sense  than  millinery  is.  To  have  a  life  of  freedom, 
with  an  interesting  employment,  for  a  few  years — to  do  as 
little  as  you  can  and  amuse  yourself  as  much  as  you  can,  is 
possibly  a  danger  pressing  on. 

(4)  There  is  another  danger,  perhaps  the  greatest  of  all. 
It  is  also  a  danger  which  grows  day  by  day.  It  is  this :  as 
literary  education  and  colleges  for  women  to  teach  literary 
work  start  and  multiply  and  improve,  some,  even  of  the 
very  best  women,  believe  that  everything  can  be  taught  by 
book  and  lecture,  and  tested  by  examination — that  memory 
is  the  great  step  to  excellence. 

Can  you  teach  horticulture  or  agriculture  by  books,  e.g. 
describing  the  different  manures,  artificial  and  natural,  and 
their  purposes  ?  The  being  able  to  know  every  clod,  and 
adapt  the  appropriate  manure  to  it,  is  the  real  thing.  Could 

*  See  Addendum. 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  195 

you  teach  painting  by  giving,  e.g.,  Fuseli's  "  Lectures  "  ?  Fuseli 
himself  said,  when  asked  how  he  mixed  his  colours,  "  With 
brains,  sir  " — that  is,  practice  guided  by  brains.  But  you  have 
another,  a  quite  other  sort  of  a  thing  to  do  with  nursing ; 
for  you  have  to  do  with  living  bodies  and  living  minds,  and 
feelings  of  both  body  and  mind. 

It  is  said  that  you  give  examinations  and  certificates  to 
plumbers,  engineers,  etc.  But  it  is  impossible  to  compare 
nurses  with  plumbers,  or  carpenters,  or  engineers,  or  even 
with  gardeners.  The  main,  the  tremendous  difference  is  that 
nurses  have  to  do  with  these  living  bodies  and  no  less  living 
minds  ;  for  the  life  is  not  vegetable  life,  nor  mere  animal  life, 
but  it  is  human  life — with  living,  that  is,  conscious  forces, 
not  electric  or  gravitation  forces,  but  human  forces.  If  you 
examine  at  all,  you  must  examine  all  day  long,  current 
examination,  current  supervision,  as  to  what  the  nurse  is 
doing  with  this  double,  this  damaged  life  entrusted  to  her. 

The  physician  or  surgeon  gives  his  orders,  generally  his 
conditional  orders,  perhaps  once  or  twice  a  day,  perhaps  not 
even  that.  The  nurse  has  to  carry  them  out,  with  intelligence 
of  conditions,  every  minute  of  the  twenty-four  hours. 

The  nurse  must  have  method,  self-sacrifice,  watchful 
activity,  love  of  the  work,  devotion  to  duty  (that  is,  the 
service  of  the  good),  the  courage,  the  coolness  of  the  soldier, 
the  tenderness  of  the  mother,  the  absence  of  the  prig  (that  is, 
never  thinking  that  she  has  attained  perfection  or  that  there 
is  nothing  better).  She  must  have  a  threefold  interest  in  her 
work — an  intellectual  interest  in  the  case,  a  (much  higher) 
hearty  interest  in  the  patient,  a  technical  (practical)  interest  in 
the  patient's  care  and  cure.  She  must  not  look  upon  patients 
as  made  for  nurses,  but  upon  nurses  as  made  for  patients. 

There  may  also  now — I  only  say  may — with  all  this  depend- 
ence on  literary  lore  in  nurse-training,  be  a  real  danger  of 
being  satisfied  with  diagnosis,  or  with  looking  too  much  at 
the  pathology  of  the  case,  without  cultivating  the  resource  or 
intelligence  for  the  thousand  and  one  means  of  mitigation, 
even  where  there  is  no  cure. 

And  never,  never  let  the  nurse  forget  that  she  must  look 
for  the  fault  of  the  nursing,  as  much  as  for  the  fault  of  the 
disease,  in  the  symptoms  of  the  patient. 

196  Woman  s  Mission. 

(5)  Forty  or  fifty  years  ago  a  hospital  was  looked  upon 
as  a  box  to  hold  patients  in.     The  first  question  never  was, 
Will  the  hospital  do  them  no  harm  ?     Enormous  strides  have 
had  to  be  made  to  build  and  arrange  hospitals  so  as  to  do 
the  patients  no  sanitary  or  insanitary  harm.     Now  there  is 
danger  of  a  hospital  being  looked  upon  as  a  box  to  train 
nurses  in.     Enormous  strides  must  be  made  not  to  do  them 
harm,  to  give  them  something  that  can  really  be  called  an 
"  all-round  "  training. 

Can  it  be  possible  that  a  testimonial  or  certificate  of  three 
years'  so-called  training  or  service  from  a  hospital — any 
hospital  with  a  certain  number  of  beds — can  be  accepted  as 
sufficient  to  certify  a  nurse  for  a  place  in  a  public  register  ? 
As  well  might  we  not  take  a  certificate  from  any  garden  of 
a  certain  number  of  acres,  that  plants  are  certified  valuable 
if  they  have  been  three  years  in  the  garden. 

(6)  Another  danger — that  is,  stereotyping,  not  progress- 
ing.   "  No  system  can  endure  that  does  not  march."    Are  we 
walking  to  the  future  or  to  the  past  ?     Are  we  progressing 
or    are   we   stereotyping  ?      We    remember    that    we    have 
scarcely  crossed  the  threshold  of  uncivilized  civilization  in 
nursing :  there  is  still  so  much  to  do.     Don't  let  us  stereo- 
type mediocrity. 

To  sum  up  the  dangers  : 

i.  On  one  side,  fashion,  and  want  of  earnestness  not 
making  it  a  life,  but  a  mere  interest  consequent  on  this. 

ii.  On  the  other  side,  mere  money-getting ;  yet  man  does 
not  live  by  bread  alone,  still  less  woman. 

iii.  Making  it  a  profession,  and  not  a  calling.  Not  making 
your  "  calling  and  election  sure ; "  wanting,  especially  with 
private  nurses,  the  community  of  feeling  of  a  common 
nursing  home,*  pressing  towards  the  "mark  of  your  high 
calling,"  keeping  up  the  moral  tone. 

iv.  Above  all,  danger  of  making  it  book-learning  and 
lectures — not  an  apprenticeship,  a  workshop  practice. 

v.  Thinking  that  any  hospital  with  a  certain  number  of 
beds  may  be  a  box  to  train  nurses  in,  regardless  of  the 

*  In  the  United  States  it  is  probable  that  private  nurses  are  of  higher  edu- 
cation than  in  England.  On  the  other  hand,  they  have  the  doubtful  dignity  of 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  197 

conditions  essential  to  a  sound  hospital  organization,  especially 
the  responsibility  of  the  female  head  for  the  conduct  and 
discipline  of  the  nurses. 

vi.  Imminent  danger  of  stereotyping  instead  of  progress- 
ing. "  No  system  can  endure  that  does  not  march."  Objects 
of  registration  not  capable  of  being  gained  by  a  public 
register.  Who  is  to  guarantee  our  guarantors  ?  Who  is  to 
make  the  inquiries  ?  You  might  as  well  register  mothers  as 
nurses.  A  good  nurse  must  be  a  good  woman. 

V. — The  health  of  the  unity  is  the  health  of  the  com- 
munity. Unless  you  have  the  health  of  the  unity  there  is 
no  community  health. 

Competition,  or  each  man  for  himself,  and  the  devil 
against  us  all,  may  be  necessary,  we  are  told,  but  it  is  the 
enemy  of  health.  Combination  is  the  antidote — combined 
interests,  recreation,  combination  to  secure  the  best  air,  the 
best  food,  and  all  that  makes  life  useful,  healthy,  and  happy. 
There  is  no  such  thing  as  independence.  As  far  as  we  are 
successful,  our  success  lies  in  combination. 

The  Chicago  Exhibition  is  a  great  combination  from  all 
parts  of  the  world  to  prove  the  dependence  of  man  on  man. 

What  a  lesson  in  combination  the  United  States  have 
taught  to  the  whole  world,  and  are  teaching  ! 

In  all  departments  of  life  there  is  no  apprenticeship  except 
in  the  workshop.  No  theories,  no  book-learning  can  ever 
dispense  with  this  or  be  useful  for  anything,  except  as  a 
stepping-stone.  And  rather  more,  than  for  anything  else,  is 
this  true  for  health.  Book-learning  is  useful  only  to  render 
the  practical  health  of  the  health  workshop  intelligent,  so 
that  every  stroke  of  work  done  there  should  be  felt  to  be  an 
illustration  of  what  has  been  learnt  elsewhere — a  driving 
home,  by  an  experience  not  to  be  forgotten,  what  has  been 
gained  by  knowledge  too  easily  forgotten. 

Look  for  the  ideal,  but  put  it  into  the  actual.  "  Not  by 
vague  exhortations,  but  by  striving  to  turn  beliefs  into 
energies  that  would  work  in  all  the  details  "  of  health.  The 
superstitions  of  centuries,  the  bad  habits  of  generations, 
cannot  be  cured  by  lecture,  book,  or  examination. 

VI. — May  our  hopes  be  that,  as  every  year  the  technical 
qualifications  constituting  a  skilful  and  observing  nurse  meet 

198  Woman's  Mission. 

with  more  demands  on  her  from  the  physicians  and  surgeons, 
progress  may  be  made  year  by  year,  and  that,  not  only  in 
technical  things,  but  in  the  qualifications  which  constitute  a 
good  and  trustworthy  woman,  without  which  she  cannot  be 
a  good  nurse.  Examination  papers,  examinations,  public 
registration,  graduation,  form  little  or  no  test  of  these  quali- 
fications. The  least  educated  governess,  who  may  not  be  a 
good  nurse  at  all,  may,  and  probably  will,  come  off  best  in 
examination  papers ;  while  the  best  nurse  may  come  off 
worst.  May  we  hope  that  the  nurse  may  understand  more 
and  more  of  the  moral  and  material  government  of  the 
world  by  the  Supreme  Moral  Governor, — higher,  better, 
holier  than  her  "  own  acts,"  that  government  which  enwraps 
her  round,  and  by  which  her  own  acts  must  be  led,  with 
which  her'own  acts  must  agree  in  their  due  proportion,  in  order 
that  this,  the  highest  hope  of  all,  may  be  hers ;  raising  her 
above,  i.e.  putting  beneath  her,  dangers,  fashions,  mere  money- 
getting,  solitary  money-getting,  but  availing  herself  of  the 
high  helps  that  may  be  given  her  by  the  sympathy  and 
support  of  good  "  homes  ; "  raising  her  above  intrusive  per- 
sonal mortifications,  pride  in  her  own  proficiency  (she  may 
have  a  just  pride  in  her  own  doctors  and  training-school), 
sham,  and  clap-trap ;  raising  her  to  the  highest  "  grade  "  of 
all — to  be  a  fellow-worker  with  the  Supreme  Good,  with  God ! 
That  she  may  be  a  "  graduate "  in  this,  how  high  !  that  she 
may  be  a  "graduate  "  in  words,  not  realities,  how  low ! 

We  are  only  on  the  threshold  of  nursing. 

In  the  future,  which  I  shall  not  see,  for  I  am  old,  may  a 
better  way  be  opened !  May  the  methods  by  which  every 
infant,  every  human  being,  will  have  the  best  chance  of 
health — the  methods  by  which  every  sick  person  will  have 
the  best  chance  of  recovery,  be  learned  and  practised ! 
Hospitals  are  only  an  intermediate  stage  of  civilization, 
never  intended,  at  all  events,  to  take  in  the  whole  sick 

May  we  hope  that  the  day  will  come  when  every  mother 
will  become  a  health-nurse,  when  every  poor  sick  person  will 
have  the  opportunity  of  a  share  in  a  district  sick-nurse  at 
home !  But  it  will  not  be  out  of  a  register ;  the  nurse  will 
not  be  a  stereotyped  one.  We  find  a  trace  of  nursing  here, 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  199 

another  there ;  we  find  nothing  like  a  nation,  or  race,  or 
class  who  know  how  to  provide  the  elementary  conditions 
demanded  for  the  recovery  of  their  sick,  whose  mothers  know 
how  to  bring  up  their  infants  for  health. 

May  we  hope  that,  when  we  are  all  dead  and  gone,  leaders 
will  arise  who  have  been  personally  experienced  in  the  hard, 
practical  work,  the  difficulties  and  the  joys  of  organizing 
nursing  reforms,  and  who  will  lead  far  beyond  anything  we 
have  done  !  May  we  hope  that  every  nurse  will  be  an  atom 
in  the  hierarchy  of  the  ministers  of  the  Highest !  But  then 
she  must  be  in  her  place  in  the  hierarchy,  not  alone,  not  an 
atom  in  the  indistinguishable  mass  of  the  thousands  of  nurses. 
High  hopes,  which  will  not  be  deceived  ! 


It  is  necessary  to  say  a  word  about  district  nursing,  with  its 
dangers  like  private  nursing,  and  its  danger  of  almsgiving. 

District  nurses  nurse  the  sick  poor  by  visiting  them  in  their 
own  homes,  not  giving  their  whole  time  to  one  case,  not 
residing  in  the  house.  They  supply  skilled  nursing  without 
almsgiving,  which  is  incompatible  with  the  duties  of  a  skilled 
nurse,  and  which  too  often  pauperizes  the  patient  or  the 
patient's  family.  They  work  under  the  doctor,  who,  however, 
rarely  comes  more  than  once  a  day,  if  so  often.  The  district 
nurse  must  be  clinical  clerk,  and  keep  notes  for  him,  and 
dresser  as  well  as  nurse.  She  must,  besides,  nurse  the  room — 
often  in  towns  the  family's  only  room — that  is,  put  it  in  good 
nursing  order,  as  to  ventilation,  cleanliness,  cheerfulness  for 
recovery ;  teach  the  family,  the  neighbour,  or  the  eldest  child 
to  keep  it  so  ;  report  sanitary  defects  to  the  proper  authority. 
If  the  patient  is  the  wage-earner,  and  the  case  is  not  essen- 
tially one  for  the  hospital,  she  often  thus  prevents  the  whole 
family  from  being  broken  up,  and  saves  them  from  the  work- 
house. If  essentially  a  case  for  the  hospital,  she  promotes  its 
going  there. 

Though  the  district  nurse  gives  nothing  herself,  she  knows, 
or  ought  to  know,  all  the  local  agencies  by  whom  indispen- 

2OO  Woman's  Mission. 

sable  wants  may  be  supplied,  and  who  are  able  to  exercise  a 
proper  discrimination  as  to  the  actual  needs. 

Having  few  or  no  hospital  appliances  at  her  disposal,  she 
must  be  ingenious  in  improvising  them. 

She  must,  in  fact,  be  even  more  accomplished  and  respon- 
sible than  a  nurse  in  a  hospital. 

She  may  take,  perhaps,  eight  cases  a  day,  but  must  never 
mix  up  infectious  or  midwifery  nursing  with  others. 

She  must  always  have  the  supervision  of  a  trained 
superior.  She  should,  whenever  possible,  live  in  a  nursing 
home  with  other  district  nurses,  under  a  trained  super- 
intendent, not  in  a  lodging  by  herself,  providing  for  herself, 
and  so  wasting  her  powers  and  deteriorating.  This  is,  of 
course,  difficult  to  manage  in  the  country,  and  especially  in  a 
sparsely  populated  country,  e.g.  like  Scotland.  Still  approxi- 
mations may  be  made  ;  e.g.  periodical  inspection  may  take  the 
place  of  continuous  supervision.  She  also  should  be  a  health 
missioner  as  well  as  a  sick-nurse. 


The  scheme  for  health-at-home  training  and  teaching  to 
health  missioners  may  be  summarized  as  follows  : — 

(1)  A  rural  medical  officer  of  health  selected  by  the  proper 
local  authority  for  his  fitness  and  experience. 

(2)  Lectures  to  be  given  by  the  rural  officer  of  health  to 
ladies  desirous  of  becoming  health  missioners,  and  others. 
This  course,  not  less  than  fifteen  lectures,  to  include  elementary 
physiology  ;   that  is,  an   explanation  of  the  organs  of  the 
body,  how  each  affects  the  health  of  the  body,  and  how  each 
can  be  kept  in  order, — a  summary,  in  fact,  of  the  science  of 
hygiene,  framed  to  give  the  scientific  basis  on  which  popular 
familiar  village  teaching  is  to  be  founded. 

(3)  Further  instruction  by  the  lecturer  to  those  who  wish 
to.  qualify  themselves   as   health   missioners,   both   by   oral 
instruction  and  papers. 

(4)  Instruction  by  the  medical  officer  to  those  who  attend 
the  classes,  by  taking  them   into   the  villages   to  visit  the 
cottages,  and  showing  them  what  to  observe  and  how  to  visit. 

(5)  Selection  by  the  medical  officer  of  a  certain  number 
of  candidates    as    qualified    to    be    examined    for    health 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  201 

missioners.  These  qualifications  are — good  character,  good 
health,  personal  fitness  for  teaching,  and  tact  in  making 
herself  acceptable  to  the  village  mothers. 

(6)  Examination  of  the  candidates  by  an  independent 
examiner  appointed  by  the  local  authority ;  one  who  is 
familiar  with  the  conditions  of  rural  and  village  life,  who 
then,  in  conjunction  with  the  medical  officer,  recommends 
the  candidates  who  have  satisfied  them  both,  to  the  local 
authority,  and  the  latter  appoints  as  many  as  are  required. 

(/)  The  health  missioners  are  appointed  to  districts  con- 
sisting each  of  a  number  of  small  villages  grouped  with  a 
larger  one,  or  the  market  town.  Over  these  there  is  a  district 
committee,  which  is  represented  on  the  local  authority.  Each 
village  has  a  local  committee,  represented  on  the  district 
committee.  The  local  committee  makes  arrangements  for 
the  lectures  by  the  health  missioner,  and  makes  the  necessary 
arrangements  for  receiving  her. 

(8)  The  health  missioner  works  under  the  supervision  of 
the  medical  officer  of  health,  who  as  often  as  possible  intro- 
duces her  to  the  village  in  the  first  instance,  and  he  makes 
it  his  business  to  inquire  into  the  practical  results  of  her 

(9)  The  lectures  are  delivered  in  simple,  homely  language. 
The  lecturer  aims  at  making  friends  with  the  women,  and, 
by  afterwards  visiting  them  at  their  own  homes,  endeavours 
practically  to  exemplify  in  their  houses  the  teaching  of  the 

(10)  After  a  health  missioner  has  become  settled  in  a 
district  she  will  then  be  able  to  receive  a  probationer,  who, 
while  attending  the  medical  officer's  lectures  and  classes,  will 
find  time  to  accompany  the  health  missioner  in  her  round 
of  visiting. 


I.  Sanitary  condition   of    the   (i)   Person;  (2)   Clothes  and   Bedding; 

(3)  House. 

II.  Management  of  Health  of  (i)  Adults;  (2)  Women  before  and  after 

Confinements ;  (3)  Infants  and  Children. 

I.  Sanitary  condition  of — 

(i)  Person. — Care  of  the  whole  body;  cleanliness  of  the  skin ;  hair 
and  hair-brushes  ;  teeth  and  tooth-brushes ;  simplest  appliances  sufficient 

2O2  Woman  s  Mission. 

with  knowledge  ;  large  vessels  and  much  water  not  indispensable  for  daily 
cleansing  (though  in  some  cases  a  bath  and  much  scrubbing  with  soap 
are  absolutely  necessary)  ;  advantages  of  friction  of  the  skin  ;  the  body 
the  main  source  of  defilement  of  the  air,  and  the  most  essential  thing  to 
keep  clean. 

(2)  Clothes  and  Bedding. — Clothes  to  be  warm,  light,  and  loose,  no 
pressure  anywhere ;  danger  of    wearing  dirty   clothes  next  the  skin ; 
reabsorption   of  poison   cast  out  by  the  body ;  danger  of  wearing  the 
same  underclothing  day  and  night ;   importance  of  airing  clothes  and 
bedding  ;  hanging  out  non-washing  clothes  in  sunshine  ;  infection  stored 
up  in  old  clothes  and  bedding ;  danger  of  using  damp  sheets  and  damp 
underlinen  ;   bed  reform ;  feather-beds  should  be  picked,  and  the  tick 
washed  every  year. 

(3)  House. — How  to  choose  a  healthy  dwelling — aspect,  situation,  not 
to  be  in  a  hole  ;  fogs  in  valleys  ;  good  foundations  ;  value  of  sunshine  and 
wind ;  look  after  water  and  air  and  all  that  poisons  them  ;  you  must 
swallow  the  air  in  your  house;  fresh  air  will  do,   even  with  poor  food 
(well  cooked),  but  the  best  food  will  not  make  up  for  the  absence  of  fresh 
air.     What  sanitary  authorities  to  appeal  to  in  the  country  about  drains, 
water,  sewage,  privies,  etc. ;  plumbing,  traps,  what  shows  a  trap  to  be 
unsafe  ;  best  disinfectants — cleanliness,  clean  hands,  fresh  air. 

Ventilation  in  bedrooms  ;  poisonous  air  in  close  bedrooms  at  night ; 
bad  smells  as  danger-signals ;  danger  of  overcrowding  sleeping-rooms ; 
danger  of  dust,  dirt,  and  damp  ;  how  to  make  the  beds  ;  how  to  clean  the 
floors,  walls,  bedroom  crockery,  kitchen  pots  and  pans  ;  foul  floors 
a  source  of  danger ;  bricks  porous ;  interstices  between  boards  may 
become  filled  with  decaying  matter ;  dangerous  to  sluice  with  much 
water,  wipe  with  a  damp  cloth,  and  rub  with  a  dry  one  ;  clean  wall 
papers,  not  put  up  over  old  dirty  ones  ;  merits  of  whitewash  ;  effect  of 
direct  sunlight ;  danger  of  uninhabited  rooms  ;  the  genteel  parlour,  chilling 
to  the  bone,  kept  for  company ;  danger  of  dirty  milk  pans  and  jugs, 
kitchen  tables,  chopping-blocks,  etc.  ;  water  hard  and  soft — see  that  it  is 
water,  not  water  plus  sewage ;  that  milk  is  milk — not  milk  plus  water 
plus  sewage. 

II.  Management  of  Health  of — 

(1)  Adults. — Diet ;  influence  of  sex,  age,  climate,  occupation,  variety  ; 
animal  food,  vegetable  food ;  milk,  butter,  cheese,  eggs,  etc. ;  effects  of 
insufficient  food,  of  unwholesome  food,  food  insufficiently  cooked  ;  danger 
of  diseased  meat,  of  decaying  fish,  meat,  fruit,  and  of  unripe  fruit  and 
vegetables  ;  spread  of  disease  through  milk  ;  chills,  constipation,  diarrhoea, 
indigestion,  ruptures,  rheumatism,  gathered  fingers,  etc. 

(2)  Women  before  and  after  Confinements. — Diet,  fresh  air,  cheerful- 
ness ;  danger  of  blood-poisoning  by  lying-in  on  dirty  feather-beds. 

(3)  Infants  and  Children. — Nursing,  weaning,  hand- feeding;  regular 
intervals  between  feeding ;  flatulence,  thrush,   convulsions,   bronchitis, 
croup ;  simple  hints  to  mothers  about  healthy  conditions  for  children  : 
cleanliness ;  food ;  what  to  give  to  prevent  constipation  or  diarrhoea ; 
danger  of  giving  children  alcohol  or  narcotics  ;  danger  of  a  heavy  head- 
covering  to  a  child  while  bones  of  skull  still  open  ;  deadliness  of  soothing 
syrups  ;  how  to  recognize  the  symptoms  of  coming  illness  in  body  and 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  203 

mind — fever,  hip  disease,  curvature  of  the  spine,  indigestion,  sleepless- 
ness, drowsiness,  headache,  peevishness,  etc.  What  to  do  till  the  Doctor 
comes — If  clothes  catch  fire,  or  for  burns,  scalds,  bites,  cuts,  stings, 
injuries  to  the  head  ;  swallowing  fruit-stones,  pennies,  pins,  etc.  After  the 
Doctor  has  left — How  to  take  care  of  convalescents  ;  how  to  feed  ;  danger 
of  chills  ;  overwork  at  school,  etc. 

Given  by  the  Health  Missioners  to  Village  Mothers. 


1.  The  Bedroom. 

2.  The  Kitchen  and  Parlour. 

3.  The  Back  Yard  and  Garden. 


4.  The  Skin,  and  how  to  keep  the  body  clean — Washing. 

5.  The  Circulation,  and  how  to  keep  the  body  warm — 


6.  The  Digestion,  and  how  to  nourish  the  body — Food. 


7.  What  to  do  till  the  Doctor  comes,  and  after  the  Doctor 

has  left. 

8.  Management  of  Infants  and  Children. 


(a)  Introductory — Busy  life  of  cottage  mothers  ;  why  they  should 
come  to  classes  ;  preventable  illnesses  ;  the  mothers  should  ask  questions, 
and  help  the  lecturers  by  relating  their  own  experiences  ;  proposed  plan  of 
the  lecturers. 

(£)  Bedroom, — What  we  want  to  get  into  a  bedroom  ;  what  we  want 
to  get  out  of  a  bedroom ;  sunshine — its  effect  on  health  ;  fresh  air — 
difference  between  clean  air  and  foul  air  ;  an  unaired  bedroom  is  a  box  of 
bad  air  ;  ventilation  near  the  ceiling  ;  fireplace — no  chimney-boards. 

(c)  Furniture  of  bedroom  :  the  bed  and  bedding ;  walls  ;  carpet ; 
airing  of  room  during  the  day  ;  cleansing  of  bedroom  crockery  ;  danger 
of  unemptied  slops  ;  how  to  get  rid  of  dust — washing  of  floors  ;  vermin  ; 
damp  ;  lumber  ;  fresh  air  and  sunshine  in  the  bedroom  by  day  promote 
sleep  by  night. 

Kitchen. — Danger  from  refuse  of  food ;  grease  in  all  the  rough  parts 
of  kitchen  table  and  chopping-block — crumbs  and  scraps  in  interstices  of 
floor — remains  of  sour  milk  in  saucepans,  jugs  ;  all  refuse  poisons  the  air, 
spoils  fresh  food,  and  attracts  vermin,  rats,  beetles,  etc.  ;  bricks  porous ; 
dangerous  to  sluice  with  too  much  water ;  water  for  cooking,  whence 
obtained — often  water  plus  sewage  ;  milk  easily  injured — often  milk  plus 

204  Woman  s  Mission. 

water  plus  sewage  ;  how  to  clean  kitchen  table,  crockery,  pots  and  pans  ; 
how  to  keep  milk  cool ;  danger  of  dirty  sink. 

Parlour. — Danger  of  uninhabited  rooms  without  sunlight  and  fresh 
air  ;  genteel  parlour  chilling  to  the  bone  ;  clean  papers  not  to  be  put  over 
dirty  ones  ;  tea-leaves  for  sweeping  carpets. 


Back  Yard. — Where  are  slops  emptied  ?  slops  to  be  poured  slowly 
down  a  drain,  not  hastily  thrown  down  to  make  a  pool  round  the  drain  ; 
gratings  of  drain  to  be  kept  clean,  and  passage  free  ;  soil  round  the  house 
kept  pure,  that  pure  air  may  come  in  at  the  window  ;  danger  of  throwing 
bedroom  slops  out  of  window  ;  no  puddles  allowed  to  stand  round  walls  ; 
privy  refuse  to  be  got  into  the  soil  as  soon  as  possible  ;  danger  of 
cesspools  ;  well  and  pump  ;  wells  are  upright  drains,  so  soil  round  them 
should  be  pure  ;  bad  smells  danger-signals  ;  pigsties,  moss-litter  to  absorb 
liquid  manure,  cheap  and  profitable  ;  danger  from  pools  of  liquid  manure 
making  the  whole  soil  foul. 


The  Skin. — Simple  account  of  functions  of  skin  :  as  a  covering  to  the 
body ;  beauty  dependent  on  healthy  state  of  skin  ;  use  of  the  skin  as 
throwing  out  waste  matter  ;  dangers  of  a  choked  skin  ;  how  and  when  to 
wash  ;  care  of  whole  body ;  teeth — sad  suffering  by  their  neglect ;  hair 
and  hair-brushes  ;  large  vessels  and  much  water  not  indispensable  for 
daily  cleansing  ;  advantages  of  a  bath  ;  friction  of  the  skin  ;  not  babies 
only,  but  men  and  women,  require  daily  washing  ;  the  body  the  source  of 
defilement  of  the  air. 


Clothes. — Simple  account  of  how  the  heart  and  lungs  act  ;  clothes  to 
be  warm  and  loose,  no  pressure ;  test  for  tight-lacing,  if  measurement 
round  the  waist  is  more  with  the  clothes  off  than  when  stays  are  worn ; 
danger  of  dirty  clothes  next  the  skin — reabsorption  of  poison  ;  danger  of 
wearing  the  same  clothes  day  and  night ;  best  materials  for  clothing  ; 
why  flannel  is  so  valuable  ;  danger  of  sitting  in  wet  clothes  and  boots  ; 
too  little  air  causes  more  chills  than  too  much  ;  the  body  not  easily 
chilled  when  warm  and  well  clothed. 


Food. — Simple  account  of  how  food  is  digested  and  turned  into  blood — 
Worse  food  (well  cooked)  and  fresh  air  better  than  best  food  without  fresh 
air ;  diet,  not  medicine,  ensures  health  ;  uses  of  animal  and  of  vegetable 
food  ;  danger  of  all  ill-cooked  and  half-cooked  food  ;  nourishing  value  of 
vegetables  and  whole-meal  bread  ;  danger  of  too  little  food  and  too  much 
at  the  wrong  times  ;  dangers  of  uncooked  meat,  especially  pork,  diseased 
meat,  decaying  fish,  unripe  and  overripe  fruit,  and  stewed  tea;  vital 
importance  of  cooked  fruit  for  children,  stewed  apples  and  pears,  damsons, 

Sick-nursing  and  Health-nursing.  205 

blackberries  ;  value  of  milk  as  food  ;  influence  of  diet  upon  constipation, 
diarrhoea,  indigestion,  convulsions  in  children  ;  small  changes  of  diet 
promote  appetite  and  health. 



Small  Treatment. — Grave  danger  of  being  one's  own  doctor,  of  taking 
quack  medicines,  or  a  medicine  which  has  cured  some  one  else  in  quite 
a  different  case ;  liquid  food  only  to  be  given  till  the  doctor  comes  ; 
danger-signals  of  illness,  and  how  to  recognize  them ;  hourly  dangers 
of  ruptures  if  not  completely  supported  by  trusses  ;  what  to  do  if  clothes 
catch  fire  ;  and  for  burns,  scalds,  bites,  cuts,  stings,  injuries  to  the  head 
and  to  the  eye,  swallowing  fruit-stones,  pins,  etc. ;  simple  rules  to  avoid 
infection.  After  the  doctor  has  left — How  to  take  care  of  convalescents ; 
how  to  feed ;  when  to  keep  rooms  dark,  and  when  to  admit  plenty  of 
light ;  danger  of  chills. 


Infants  and  Children. — Nursing,  weaning,  hand-feeding,  regular 
intervals  between  feeding;  flatulence,  thrush,  convulsions,  bronchitis, 
croup ;  simple  hints  to  mothers  about  healthy  conditions  for  children  : 
Baths ;  diet ;  how  to  prevent  constipation  and  diarrhoea  ;  what  to  do  in 
sudden  attacks  of  convulsions  and  croup  ;  deadly  danger  of  giving 
soothing  syrups  or  alcohol ;  headache  often  caused  by  bad  eyesight ; 
symptoms  of  overwork  at  school — headache,  worry,  talking  in  the  sleep  ; 
danger  to  babies  and  to  little  children  of  any  violence,  jerks,  and  sudden 
movements,  loud  voices,  slaps,  box  on  the  ear ;  good  effects  upon  the 
health  of  gentleness,  firmness,  and  cheerfulness ;  no  child  can  be  well 
who  is  not  bright  and  merry,  and  brought  up  in  fresh  air  and  sunshine, 
surrounded  by  love — the  sunshine  of  the  soul. 

2o6  Woman  s  Mission. 



THE  instinct  existing  from  all  time  in  civilized  humanity  to 
help  the  helpless  and  relieve  suffering  has  only  led  to  the 
development  of  a  scientific  system  of  trained  nursing  in  Eng- 
land in  the  last  half-century. 

The  pioneer  in  this  movement  was  Miss  Florence  Nightin- 
gale, who,  belonging  to  a  wealthy  and  distinguished  family, 
had  so  trained  herself  that  she  was  ready,  when  the  need 
came,  to  obey  the  invitation  of  the  Secretary  at  War,  and  to 
take  charge  of  the  military  hospitals  in  the  Crimea.  The 
state  of  things  in  nursing  matters  which  existed  before  this 
modern  crusade  was  begun,  is  sketched  for  us  in  Charles 
Dickens's  masterly  and  too  truthful  pictures  of  Mrs.  Gamp 
and  her  companions,  and  we  may  infer  from  these  how  great 
was  the  need  of  reform  in  the  class  of  nurses,  and  in  the  spirit 
and  practice  of  their  work.  But  it  was  not  till  twenty  years 
ago  that  James  Hinton,  the  well-known  aurist  and  writer, 
suggested  that  ladies  should  take  up  nursing  as  a  profession. 
He  set  before  them  a  noble  ideal  of  what  the  work  might 
become,  urging  them  "to  create  a  new  art  of  nursing,"  and 
laying  down  a  scheme  of  training  which,  to  be  perfect  (for 
the  few),  "  might  absorb  resources  as  large  and  take  as  long 
a  time  as  the  completest  medical  education."  He  believed 
that  "  with  the  observing  and  recording  power  at  hand,  in 
the  form  of  a  body  of  skilled  ladies,  new  subjects  and  methods 
of  observation  could  hardly  fail  to  develop  themselves,"  while 
the  "  mutual  co-operation  of  the  two  sexes  would  build  up 

Philanthropic  Aspects  of  Nursing.  207 

conjointly — the  one  as  physician,  the  other  as  nurse,  but  with 
no  unequal  share — a  worthy  science  of  the  healing  art." 

Since  these  words  were  spoken,  the  profession  has 
been  largely  recruited  by  ladies ;  so  much  so,  indeed, 
that  some  nursing  institutions  demand  lady  workers  only, 
while  the  hospitals  which  have  become  training-schools  for 
nurses  have  in  many  cases  special  arrangements  for  lady 
pupils.  This  training  is  taken  up  by  women  of  almost  every 
class  as  a  means  of  livelihood  ;  it  is  also  adopted  by  many 
who  desire  only  to  prepare  themselves  for  philanthropic 

It  would  not,  however,  give  a  correct  idea  of  the  possi- 
bilities of  philanthropic  activity  in  the  field  of  nursing,  if  we 
omitted  to  mention  the  considerable  body  of  ladies,  who,  with- 
out being  trained  as  nurses  themselves,  play  an  indispensable 
part  in  the  furtherance  of  nursing  work  by  others. 

Work  of  all  kinds,  to  achieve  the  best  success,  must  be 
pursued  and  loved  for  its  own  sake,  and  not  merely  as  a 
means  of  gain  ;  but  nursing  from  its  very  nature  must  be 
governed  by  philanthropy,  or  it  will  fail  of  its  purpose.  The 
sick-nurse  is  called  upon  for  intellectual  interest  in  her  work. 
She  should  be  capable  of  accurate  and  comprehensive  obser- 
vation, of  noting  differences  and  changes  of  symptom  in  ill- 
ness, of  reporting  clearly  the  results  of  her  watchfulness.  She 
should  feel  that  in  fighting  disease  she  is  an  ally  of  the  vitality 
of  her  patient,  and  be  able  to  seize  every  spark  of  life,  to 
combat  weakness  and  decay.  But,  important  as  this  attitude 
is,  it  is  insufficient ;  qualities  yet  more  difficult  to  call  out 
are  necessary  to  perfect  nursing.  A  nurse  must  give  not  only 
self-denial  and  single-hearted  devotion  to  her  duty  ;  she  must 
dedicate  to  it  the  whole  energy  of  her  character.  The  patient 
is  not  merely  a  "  case  "  of  disease  ;  he  is  a  suffering  member 
of  the  great  human  family.  It  is  necessary  that  his  nurse 
should  care  for  his  pain,  and  rejoice  in  his  steps  towards 
health  ;  he  can  only  be  restored  to  his  place  in  the  community 
by  the  revivifying  effect  of  sympathy,  and  his  welfare  as  an 
individual  is  the  motive  power  of  her  labour.  It  is  the  special 
pride  of  nursing  that  its  very  exercise  is  nullified  unless  this 
finer  motive  power  is  called  out. 

It  is  not  surprising  that  a  very  large  amount  of  nursing  is 

208  Woman's  Mission. 

undertaken  wholly  with  a  benevolent  object.  But  it  must  not 
be  forgotten  that  many  nurses,  the  spirit  of  whose  work  is 
essentially  philanthropic,  are  prevented  by  the  accident  of 
their  personal  circumstances  from  working  without  payment. 
The  present  standard  of  efficiency  in  the  profession  enforces 
from  three  to  five  years'  training,  or  if  it  be  completed  in  a  less 
time,  which  is  possible,  it  must  be  paid  for  at  a  heavy  cost, 
and  during  the  eighteen  months  or  two  years,  which  is  the 
least  time  in  which  it  can  be  obtained,  no  salary  can  be  earned. 
And  when  the  training  is  completed,  the  nurse's  life  is  a  very 
arduous  and  responsible  one,  requiring  good  health  and 
strong  nerves,  and  the  number  of  years  during  which  a  nurse 
is  considered  at  her  best,  and  is  capable  of  obtaining  first- 
rate  employment,  is  sadly  limited.  Notwithstanding  this, 
there  is,  besides  the  vast  number  of  women  who  take  up 
nursing  as  a  profession,  a  steadily  increasing  body  of  ladies, 
who  devote  their  lives  to  nursing  the  poor  in  all  parts  of 
England  unpaid,  without  reckoning  those  who  belong  to 
various  religious  communities.  Two  or  three  years  ago  it 
was  suggested  by  the  Hon.  Mrs.  John  Dundas,  in  a  letter 
to  the  Times,  that  daughters  of  clergymen,  country  squires, 
and  others  living  at  home,  would  find  their  sphere  of  use- 
fulness much  enlarged  by  spending  a  few  years  in  be- 
coming thoroughly  trained  as  nurses,  and  then  devoting  that 
efficiency  to  nursing  the  sick  poor  in  their  neighbourhood. 
The  body  of  voluntary  lady  workers  would  thus  be  greatly 

The  large  hospitals  in  our  towns,  and  in  the  provinces,  are, 
primarily,  beneficent  examples  of  philanthropic  nursing.  The 
poor  patients  who  receive  the  services  of  the  most  eminent 
medical  men  and  the  most  experienced  nurses  in  these  insti- 
tutions, are  recipients  of  charity  given  in  the  past  or  present. 
But  large  and  important  as  they  are,  they  can  only  touch  the 
special  and  most  severe  forms  of  suffering.  They  cannot  deal 
with  the  majority  of  sick  people  among  the  poor.  Of  late 
years,  therefore,  in  England,  localities  have  set  on  foot  humble 
imitations  of  these  big  hospitals,  where  a  few  beds  can  accom- 
modate patients  who  require  special  medical  treatment  and 
care.  And  as  far  as  we  can  judge,  these  cottage  hospitals, 
supported  by  local  funds  and  subscriptions,  form  a  valuable 

Philanthropic  Aspects  of  Nursing.  209 

link   between  the  great  hospitals  and  what  is  now  largely 
known  as  district  nursing. 

This  form  of  philanthropic  nursing  was  originated  some 
thirty  years  ago  by  Mr.  William  Rathbone,  of  Liverpool,  whose 
experience  of  serious  illness  in  his  own  household  led  him  to 
consider  the  suffering  that  must  exist  in  the  homes  of  the 
sick  poor,  destitute  of  those  alleviations  that  wealth  can 
supply.  Out  of  this  arose  the  idea  of  training  nurses  to  visit 
the  sick  poor  in  their  own  homes,  and  this  system  of  helping 
patients  who  from  various  reasons  cannot  be  removed  to 
hospitals,  has  extended  to  London  and  to  many  towns  of 
Great  Britain. 

The  beneficent  action  of  Queen  Victoria  in  devoting  the 
surplus  of  the  fund  subscribed  by  the  women  of  England  to 
commemorate  her  Jubilee,  to  this  object,  has  enabled  many 
of  the  various  schemes  of  district  nursing,  both  in  towns  and 
rural  places,  to  be  welded  together  into  an  organized  whole. 
Queen  Victoria's  Jubilee  Institute  has  done  incalculable  good 
in  fixing  a  high  standard  of  efficiency  for  nurses  of  the  sick 
poor,  in  widely  extending  the  work,  and,  above  all,  in  establish- 
ing the  whole  system  of  district  nursing  on  a  charitable  basis. 

What  the  Queen's  Institute  is  doing  in  towns,  its  rural 
branch  (founded  before  its  amalgamation  with  the  Institute 
as  the  "  Rural  Nursing  Association  ")  is  doing  in  the  country, 
where  district  nursing  is  rapidly  spreading.  For  this  work 
the  nurses  are  further  trained  by  the  rural  branch  in  mid- 
wifery as  well  as  in  general  nursing,  to  supply  a  very  serious 
need  in  isolated  villages  and  districts  far  from  medical  aid  ; 
and  skilled  attendance  is  now  being  gradually,  but  surely, 
extended  to  poor  mothers  who  have  been  hitherto  left  to  the 
evils  of  ignorant  and  untrained  help. 

This  brings  us  to  the  consideration  of  those  philanthropic 
workers  before  mentioned,  without  whom  schemes  of  district 
nursing  would  be  an  impossibility.  There  are,  happily,  many 
ladies  who  have  been  roused  to  activity  by  a  knowledge  of 
the  sufferings  in  sickness  of  their  poor  neighbours.  To  these 
a  large  field  of  activity  has  been  opened.  During  the  last  ten 
years  the  whole  subject  of  nursing  the  poor  has  greatly  won 
upon  public  attention  ;  so  much  so,  indeed,  that  nursing  has 
been  taken  up  by  all  sorts  and  conditions  of  women  as  a 


2io  Woman 's  Mission. 

fashion,  apart  from  their  having  any  special  aptitude  or  taste 
for  the  work.  Such  workers,  having  no  foundation  for  their 
brief  enthusiasm,  must  drop  out  of  the  ranks  sooner  or  later  ; 
but  a  lasting  good  result  remains  from  the  prominence  given 
to  the  subject  having  opened  the  eyes  of  many  persons  to  a 
very  urgent  need.  Some  of  the  needs  of  the  poor  have  been 
recognized  and  provided  for.  They  have  clergymen  to  live 
among  them,  and  the  State  provides  them  with  free  elemen- 
tary education,  and  ensures  that  they  can  obtain  the  attend- 
ance of  the  parish  doctor  when  necessary. 

The  need  for  trained  nursing  in  sickness,  however,  for 
those  who  cannot  avail  themselves  of  the  advantages  offered 
by  hospitals,  is  not  supplied  except  through  the  private 
benevolence  and  energy  of  individual  workers.  No  scheme 
of  district  nursing  has  yet  been  carried  through,  without  the 
activity  and  devotion  of  some  benevolent  person  or  persons, 
and  this  field  of  philanthropy  is  open  to  all,  even  to  those 
who,  from  their  circumstances,  are  not  able  to  give  help  in 
money.  Interest  has  to  be  awakened  in  others,  co-operation 
to  be  obtained,  prejudices  to  be  overcome,  money  to  the 
extent  of  £70  to  £80  per  annum  collected  in  a  given  district, 
opposition  from  many,  and  often  unexpected  quarters  must 
be  met,  and  last,  but  not  least,  an  efficient  nurse  must  be 
engaged.  During  the  past  few  years  the  Rural  District 
Branch,  which  has  made  the  whole  subject  of  nursing  in 
country  districts  its  especial  study,  has  been  ready  with 
assistance  of  all  sorts  for  these  isolated  workers,  and  can  be 
appealed  to  for  nurses  trained  for  country  work,  for  advice, 
and  in  some  cases  for  monetary  help. 

No  one  who  has  not  carried  through  a  scheme  of  this 
kind,  especially  in  the  country,  where  new  ideas  are  slow  to 
take  root,  can  know  of  the  disappointments,  discouragements, 
and  troubles  to  be  undergone  in  many  cases  before  success  is 
reached.  The  project  is  not  one  that  grows  by  itself;  the 
poor  do  not  themselves  agitate  for  reform,  and  have  to  be 
educated  to  better  things.  They  are  often  the  least  alive  to 
their  own  needs,  and  their  dogged  submission,  to  what  they 
consider  inevitable  ills,  is  sometimes  not  the  least  of  the 
obstacles  to  be  overcome.  The  amount  of  ignorance  that 
prevails  among  them  with  regard  to  their  own  bodies  and 

Philanthropic  Aspects  of  Nursing.  2 1 1 

all  laws  of  hygiene  and  sanitation,  can,  perhaps,  hardly  be 
realized  by  the  educated,  unless  they  are  in  the  habit  of 
visiting  them  constantly,  and  really  know  them  intimately. 
There  is  no  lack  of  kindness  and  good-nature  among  them, 
but  one  has  frequently  to  deplore  the  willingness  of  the 
neighbours  to  attend  the  sick,  and  to  prescribe  from  their 
own  limited  experience,  in  cases  where  trained  skill  and 
sound  knowledge  are  urgently  required.  More  especially 
does  this  apply  to  confinements,  where  a  neighbour  with  no 
knowledge  or  training  will  too  frequently  attend,  with  the 
audacity  of  ignorance,  both  natural  and  abnormal  cases,  and 
often  sad,  if  not  fatal,  results  to  both  mothers  and  infants 
ensue  from  this  practice.  Terrible  is  the  suffering,  and  the 
lifelong  injury,  too  often  caused  by  these  women  ! 

As  to  ventilation,  the  villagers  have  no  idea  of  it,  and 
alternate  between  the  close  and  stuffy  bedroom,  with  a  window 
never  opened,  and  the  chimney,  if  existing,  carefully  closed 
or  boarded  up,  and  the  thorough  draught  of  the  passage 
between  the  back  and  front  doors,  which  is  the  usual  lounge 
of  any  invalid  and  the  children.  We  can  wonder  little,  then, 
at  the  mortality  in  villages  after  a  mild  epidemic  of  measles, 
when  the  children  die  in  numbers  from  bronchitis  and  other 
chest  affections.  Besides  this  cause  of  mortality  among 
children  is  another,  viz.  the  spread  of  infectious  disorders 
owing  to  the  utter  disregard  of  all  precautions.  The  people 
appear  to  be  fatalists  on  this  subject,  and  regard  the  most 
ordinary  prudence  as  flying  in  the  face  of  Providence — their 
argument  being,  "  If  you  are  to  have  it,  you  will  have  it,"  and 
they  go  about  the  surest  way  to  take,  and  spread,  whatever 
the  infection  may  be. 

Sanitation  is  not  even  thought  of.  An  open  stagnant 
ditch,  or  drain,  is  considered  quite  a  suitable  playground  for 
the  children,  and  to  throw  all  refuse  just  outside  the  door  is 
still  a  common  practice. 

The  nasty  compounds  which  are  applied  as  poultices  are 
some  of  them  too  bad  to  describe  to  ears  polite,  and  must 
have  a  very  pernicious  effect,  while  even  those  of  which  the 
ingredients  are  suitable,  are  prepared  and  applied  in  a  very 
different  manner  from  what  the  doctor  intended,  or  a  nurse 
would  make. 

212  Woman 's  Mission. 

How  the  village  babies  survive  the  very  unwholesome 
food  on  which  they  are  brought  up,  must  ever  remain  a 
mystery  to  the  mothers  who  carefully  adapt  their  little  ones' 
diet  to  their  age  and  powers  of  digestion.  Biscuit  soaked  in 
water  is  the  most  common  of  all,  but  cabbage  and  brown 
sugar,  and  fat  bacon  to  suck,  are  given  at  the  age  of  a  few 
weeks  only  ;  and  at  three  or  four  months  old,  a  little  of  any- 
thing the  elders  are  having  is  thought  in  many  families  good 
for  the  baby  ;  wholesome  food  and  regularity  of  meals  are 
really  not  considered  at  all.  ' 

The  doctor's  visit,  when  he  is  not  sent  for  too  late  for  any 
human  aid  to  avail,  is  often  of  little  use,  from  the  misunder- 
standing of  his  directions,  or  inability  to  carry  them  out. 
There  are  still  in  many  remote  country  villages  old  women 
skilled  in  the  use  of  herbs.  One  such  who  has  cer- 
tainly performed  some  remarkable  cures,  and  who  enjoys 
the  implicit  confidence  of  her  neighbours,  avers  that  her  father 
could  "  cure  all  men  and  beasts,"  and  that  she  inherits  her 
skill  and  her  books  from  him.  This  aged  crone  believes  in 
the  need  of  picking  and  collecting  her  herbs  at  particular  times 
of  the  moon's  phases,  and  considers  each  plant  to  be  under  the 
dominion  of  one  of  the  planets.  Truly  a  relic  of  heathen 
superstition !  To  quote  a  few  of  her  prescriptions  and  de- 
scriptions copied  from  labels  she  attached  to  the  collection  of 
herbs,  which  she  exhibited  at  a  cottage  garden  flower  show 
about  three  years  ago,  will  exemplify  the  state  of  credulity 
and  ignorance  of  the  herbalist  and  her  patients,  better  per- 
haps than  anything  else  : — 

"  Hemlock.  Saturn  claims  dominion  over  this  herb. 
Uses.  Hemlock  is  very  cold  and  very  dangerous,  especially 
to  be  taken  inwardly  ;  it  may  safely  be  applied  to  inflam- 
mations, tumours,  and  swellings  in  any  part  of  the  body,  as 
also  to  St.  Anthony's  fire  (=  erysipelas),  a  local  name,  and 
creeping  ulcers,  that  arise  of  hot  sharp  humours  by  cooking 
and  repelling  the  heat. 

"Balm.  It  is  an  herb  of  Jupiter  and  under  Cancer.  Uses. 
The  leaves  with  a  little  nitre  are  good  against  the  surfeit  of 
mushrooms.  It  is  also  good  for  them  that  cannot  fetch  their 

"  Borage.     It  is  an  herb  of  Jupiter  and  under  Leo.     Uses. 

Philanthropic  Aspects  of  Nursing.  2 1 3 

The  leaves,  flowers,  and  seeds  are  all  of  them  good  to  expel 
pensiveness  and  melancholy.  It  helpeth  to  clarify  the  blood 
and  mitigate  heat  in  fevers. 

"  Elecampane,  It  is  a  plant  under  the  dominion  of 
Mercury.  The  roots  chewed  in  the  mouth  fasteneth  loose 
teeth  and  keepeth  them  from  putrefaction.  But  wild  tansy 
is  even  more  remarkable.  It  is  said  to  be  under  Venus,  and 
the  powder  of  the  herb,  boiled  in  vinegar  with  honey  and 
alum,  easeth  the  toothache,  fasteneth  loose  teeth,  helpeth  the 
gums  that  are  sore,  and  setteth  the  palate  of  the  mouth  when 
it  is  fallen  down. 

"  Wild  Marjoram,  This  is  also  under  the  dominion  of 
Mercury;  the  juice  thereof  being  dropped  into  the  ears  helps 
deafness,  pains,  and  noise  in  the  ears.  Pimpernel  is  a  gallant 
and  solar  herb ;  it  helpeth  the  toothache,  being  dropped  into 
the  ears  the  contrary  side  of  the  pain. 

"  Briony  or  Wild  Vine.  The  root  cleanseth  the  skin 
wonderfully  from  all  black  and  blue  spots,  freckles,  morphew, 
leprosy,  foul  scars,  or  other  deformity  whatsoever. 

"  Spearmint  is  an  herb  of  Venus,  and  is  a  safe  medicine 
for  the  biting  of  a  mad  dog,  being  bruised  with  salt  and  laid 
thereon,  and  Wood  Betony  is  commended  against  the  stinging 
or  biting  of  venomous  serpents  or  mad  dogs,  being  used 
inwardly,  and  applied  outwardly  to  the  place. 

"Balsam  is  under  the  dominion  of  Jupiter,  and  taken 
fasting  in  the  morning  is  very  good  for  pains  in  the  head 
that  are  continual.  It  is  also  said  to  be  an  especial  friend 
and  help  to  evil,  weak,  and  cold  livers  ;  and,  lastly,  Garden 
Riie  is  an  herb  of  the  sun,  and  under  Leo.  The  juice  of  it, 
mixed  with  fennel  with  a  little  honey,  helpeth  the  dimness 
of  the  eyesight." 

Many  similar  remedies  could  be  named  from  the  old 
woman's  collection,  but  these  are  sufficient  for  our  purpose, 
to  show  that  the  establishment  of  trained  and  skilled  nurses 
is  greatly  needed  in  country  districts  far  away  from  the 
influences  of  modern  knowledge  and  science. 

It  would  be  well  if  landowners,  and  other  benevolent 
persons  who  wish  to  take  up  this  branch  of  philanthropy, 
and  employ  their  energies  in  obtaining  trained  nursing  for 
the  poor,  would  recognize  from  the  outset  what  all  such 

2 1 4  Woman  s  Mission. 

workers  must  see  sooner  or  later — that  the  scheme  must  be 
a  charity.  Many  start  with  the  conviction  that  it  must  be,  if 
not  a  paying  one,  at  least  self-supporting,  and  though  others 
have  failed  to  make  it  so,  they  will  succeed.  Our  hospitals 
exemplify  the  principle  that  the  poor  are  utterly  unable  to 
pay  for  skilled  attention  in  serious  illness,  and  this  holds 
good  in  district  nursing  both  in  towns  and  villages,  more 
especially  in  the  latter,  where  the  ignorance  of  the  simplest 
treatment  of  sickness,  combined  with  the  total  absence  of 
even  the  ordinary  comforts  and  appliances,  make  even  a  slight 
ailment  a  burden  that  cannot  be  adequately  borne  without 

Again,  some  workers  wish  to  make  their  philanthropy  as 
cheap  as  they  can  by  establishing,  to  work  amongst  the  poor, 
ignorant  and  common  women  made  doubly  dangerous  by 
a  small  amount  of  cheap  and  insufficient  training.  Such 
women  naturally  cost  less  than  a  trained  nurse,  but  it  is 
hardly  necessary  to  point  out  that  if  by  our  philanthropy 
we  wish  to  raise  and  improve  the  condition  of  the  poor,  to 
teach  them  by  example  to  live  healthy  and  more  refined  and 
orderly  lives — if  we  want  to  save  life  and  lifelong  delicacy 
and  infirmity,  no  nurse  is  too  good,  too  refined,  and  too  high- 
minded  for  the  work. 

Trained  nurses  cannot  at  once  dispel  the  mists  of  ignorance, 
or  the  ingrained  bad  habits  and  the  prejudice  of  long  custom, 
but  they  may  do  much  to  lessen  them,  and  mitigate  the  evils 
which  follow  in  their  train.  The  comfort  from  a  trained 
nurse's  visit  is  so  great  that  it  encourages  people  to  follow 
her  advice.  The  village  district  nurse  must  be  a  kind,  gentle- 
mannered  woman,  endowed  with  great  tact  and  patience  to 
deal  with  her  patients,  and  their  friends,  and,  if  she  possesses 
these  gifts,  and  is  following  the  profession,  not  only  as  a 
means  of  livelihood,  but  with  sincere  love  for  her  heavenly 
Master,  and  a  desire  to  tread  closely  in  His  footsteps,  she 
will  win  the  confidence  and  affection  of  all  with  whom  she 
comes  in  contact 

Munificent  gifts  have  been  made  to  hospitals ;  cottage 
hospitals  and  infirmaries  have  been  built  and  supported  by 
voluntary  contributions,  but  none  of  these  supply  the  same 
need  as  trained  sick  nurses  and  certificated  mid  wives,  living 

Philanthropic  Aspects  of  Nursing.  215 

among  the  country  people,  ready  and  willing  and  capable  of 
attending  them  in  all  emergencies.  The  fees  can  never  be 
sufficient  for  their  support ;  there  must  always  be  a  nurse  fund 
provided  by  those  who  have  the  means,  and  the  will,  to  help 
the  poor  and  the  suffering  ones  around  them  ;  and  those  who 
contribute  to  this  fund  may  feel  that  they  are  obeying  the 
injunction  of  our  Lord,  who  said,  "The  poor  ye  have  always 
with  you,  and  whenever  ye  will  ye  can  do  them  good,"  and 
are  following,  in  the  way  most  suited  to  the  present  age  and 
the  present  needs,  His  example,  Who  went  about  doing  good, 
and  healing  the  sick. 

216  Woman's  Mission. 


To  give  a  full  statement  of  the  entire  range  of  this  subject 
would  far  exceed  the  possibilities  of  such  a  paper  as  the 
present  one  ;  but  an  attempt  is  here  made  to  give  a  short 
survey  of  the  rise  and  actual  condition  of  Nursing  as  a  pro- 
fession as  it  exists  in  England. 

It  seems  needless  here  to  recapitulate  what  the  world 
owes  to  the  great  pioneer  of  nursing,  Miss  Nightingale, 
who,  long  before  the  Crimean  War  gave  her  a  European 
reputation,  left  the  joys  of  home  and  the  pleasures  of  the  best 
society,  which  she  was  in  a  position  to  command  and  adorn, 
to  undertake  the  care  of  a  Home  for  Diseased  Gentlewomen. 
It  was  her  great  spiritual  and  moral  force  that  convinced  the 
public  that  to  leave  helpless  human  beings  in  the  hour  of 
suffering  to  ignorant,  untrained  supervision  was  a  disgrace  to 
the  intelligence  of  the  nineteenth  century.  Simultaneously, 
the  inimitable  works  of  Dickens  presented  the  reverse  of  the 
picture  ;  and,  not  without  controversy  and  some  misgiving  in 
head-quarters,  Mr.  Sidney  Herbert  succeeded  in  despatching, 
for  the  first  time  in  the  world's  history,  a  woman  to  take  a 
definite  place  in  the  operations  of  an  army  in  the  field.  How 
she  sped  is  now  a  matter  of  universal  knowledge,  and  nobly 
have  her  pupils  and  sisters  in  the  military  services  followed 
her  footsteps.  On  the  return  of  Miss  Nightingale  after  the 
war,  the  gratitude  of  the  English  nation  took  expression  in 
a  large  contribution  placed  at  her  disposal.  This  was  devoted 
by  her  to  the  foundation  of  the  Nightingale  Training  Insti- 
tution for  Nurses,  in  St.  Thomas's  Hospital,  which,  by  intro- 
ducing the  best  kind  of  nursing  into  hospitals,  established  a 
right  standard  of  practice,  and  led  to  the  foundation  of  schools 

On  Nursing.  217 

of  nursing  in  connection  with  almost  all  the  large  hospitals 
throughout  the  kingdom. 

The  military  and  naval  services  have  been  the  great 
nurseries  and  pioneers  of  good  nursing,  and  in  a  return  kindly 
supplied  to  me  by  the  War  Office  I  find  a  list  of  no  less 
than  thirty-four  nurses,  all  decorated  for  good  service,  who 
have  been  employed  in  the  recent  wars  in  India,  Egypt, 
Burmah,  and  elsewhere.  Their  distinction  can  only  be  equalled 
by  their  modesty,  and  I  have  not  found  it  easy  to  obtain  any 
details  of  the  work  done.  But  something  is  known  of  what 
Miss  Florence  Lees,  now  Mrs.  Dacre  Craven,  underwent  in  1870 
in  the  Franco- German  War,  when  the  Empress  Frederick  and 
Princess  Alice  sent  her  to  the  front,  and  she  spent  eight  weeks 
in  the  hospital  for  typhus  cases  before  Metz.  There,  in  the 
midst  of  the  raging  infection,  she  nursed  a  building  containing 
eighty  beds,  which  on  her  arrival  was  destitute  of  every  special 
accommodation  for  patients.  She  found  only  the  wards,  the 
beds,  and  the  same  rough  food  supplied  as  would  be  served 
out  to  the  same  men  in  the  field  if  in  health.  There  were 
absolutely  no  cups  or  vessels  for  use  of  any  description,  but 
one  pail.  She  had  two  other  nurses  with  her,  and  they  subse- 
quently had  to  be  repeatedly  relieved  ;  but  this  heroic  woman 
went  on  with  her  life  in  her  hand  for  the  whole  eight  weeks, 
more  than  once  in  additional  danger  from  the  poor  fellows 
when  in  violent  delirium,  who  could  only  be  restrained  by  the 
assistance  of  convalescent  inmates,  trained  by  her  into 
hospital  orderlies. 

Before  Miss  Nightingale's  school  had  quite  developed,  an 
important  move  forward  was  made  by  religious  sisterhoods ; 
and  for  a  considerable  time  the  best  nursing  work  then  to  be 
had  emanated  from  the  St.  John's  House,  Norfolk  Street, 
Strand,  followed  closely  by  the  All  Saints'  Sisterhood  in  Mar- 
garet Street,  by  the  East  Grinstead  Sisters,  and  the  Sisters  of 
St.  Peter.  I  might  append  here  a  long  list  of  sisterhoods,  most 
of  which  include  some  nursing  of  the  poor  among  the  different 
objects  of  their  work.  Their  devoted  spirit  has  been  invalu- 
able in  teaching  the  world  how  noble  a  thing  good  nursing 
is.  Though  all  did  not  attain  to  the  highest  standard  of 
professional  training,  the  All  Saints'  and  St.  John's  Sisterhoods 
are  still  among  the  heads  of  the  profession  and  in  the  first 

218  Woman  s  Mission. 

rank  of  those  who  give  their  services  to  the  poor.  These  last- 
named  bodies  provided  nurses  for  hospitals  (King's  College 
and  Charing  Cross),  and  also  supplied  nurses  to  private  cases 
that  could  pay  for  them.  But  the  first  attempt  to  supply 
nurses  to  the  poor  was  in  Liverpool  in  1859,  where  a  be- 
ginning was  made  with  one  single  nurse,  whose  energy  and 
success  rapidly  led  to  the  establishment  of  a  nursing  home, 
and  a  place  for  training  nurses  to  visit  the  sick  poor  in  their 
own  homes,  in  Liverpool. 

During  the  great  cholera  epidemic  of  1866  in  London 
much  admirable  work  was  done  by  the  sisters,  and  the 
highest  testimony  to  their  efficiency  and  devotion  was  given 
by  Bishop  (afterwards  Archbishop)  Tait,  a.nd  by  Mrs.  Glad- 
stone, who  daily  visited  the  London  Hospital  during  the 
worst  days  of  that  awful  scourge. 

It  was  that  same  visitation  which  led  to  the  formation  of 
the  East  London  Nursing  Society,  the  first  of  the  London 
societies  organized  for  the  sole  benefit  of  the  poor.  That 
society  places  a  trained  nurse  in  each  parish,  obtains  her 
lodging  from  the  local  funds,  and  supplies  fully  trained 
nursing  superintendence  from  matrons  living  in  the  imme- 
diate neighbourhood.  There  are  twenty-nine  nurses  now 
established,  one  residing  in  each  parish,  under  four  matrons  ; 
and  they  have  an  efficient  plan  for  the  supply  of  necessary 
diet  and  comforts  for  the  patients.  The  value  •  of  these 
services  in  the  deep  poverty  of  the  East  End  is  incalculable. 

Development  followed  quickly  in  the  form  of  a  really 
grand  scheme  for  training  and  giving  the  highest  form  of 
nursing  to  the  poor,  initiated  by  the  Duke  of  Westminster, 
who  in  1870  founded  the  Metropolitan  and  National  Nursing 
Association,  with  a  central  training-home  in  Bloomsbury 
Square.  It  is  composed  almost  entirely  of  ladies,  who  are 
trained  by  Mrs.  Dacre  Craven  ;  whose  exploits  have  already 
been  referred  to.  This  institution  is  now  divided  into  a 
great  number  of  branches,  and  the  central  training-home  in 
Bloomsbury  continues  to  stand  out  as  the  highest  for  com- 
pleteness and  efficiency.  But  among  the  efforts  to  comfort 
poor  people  few  exceed  in  value  the  Association  for  Providing 
Trained  Nurses  to  Workhouses,  which  followed  closely  after 
the  kindred  institutions  for  the  poor  in  their  own  homes. 

On  Nursing.  219 

The  establishment  of  schools  for  trained  nurses  in  almost 
every  large  hospital  is  now  an  accomplished  fact.  The 
nurses  to  private  cases  who  receive  full  payment  greatly 
benefit  the  institutions  to  which  they  belong ;  among  the 
earliest  was  the  Westminster  training-school  founded  by 
the  late  Lady  Augusta  Stanley.  Our  space  makes  a  mention 
of  all  impossible,  but  they  are  usually  all  on  the  same  system, 
viz.  to  train  nurses  for  private  cases,  reserving  a  few  for 
the  poor. 

The  movement  recently  instituted  by  H.R.H.  the  Princess 
Christian,  to  consolidate  the  general  nursing  profession  by 
giving  a  certificate  under  Royal  Charter  to  all  who  have 
received  three  years'  full  training,  is  expected  to  assist  the 
value  of  their  work  by  consolidating  their  social  status.  But 
her  Majesty  Queen  Victoria  stands  pre-eminent  among  the 
supporters  of  this  great  duty  of  providing  nurses  for  the  sick 
poor,  and  by  her  action  has  made  this  movement  a  national 
one.  By  her  appointment  the  Duke  of  Westminster,  Sir 
Rutherford  Alcock,  and  Sir  James  Paget  were  made  trustees  ; 
and,  from  information  obtained  by  them,  it  appears  that 
beside  the  work  done  in  London  and  Liverpool,  there  are 
district  nursing  organizations  in  Derby,  Bristol,  Brighton, 
Manchester,  Worcester,  Leeds,  Oxford,  Newcastle,  Maidstone, 
Edinburgh,  Glasgow,  Belfast,  Dublin,  and  many  other  towns. 
These  nursing  organizations  are  exclusive  of  the  institutions 
for  providing  nurses  to  the  rich,  and  are  far  more  effectual 
for  the  poor  than  those  on  the  mixed  system  ;  though  it 
cannot  be  denied  that  the  latter  are  very  beneficial.  In 
January,  1888,  the  trustees  recommended  that  the  bulk  of 
the  Jubilee  Fund,  amounting  to  ^70,000,  should  be  applied 
for  the  training  of  nurses  for  the  poor.  Her  Majesty  finally 
approved  a  scheme  for  uniting  this  fund  with  the  ancient 
charity  of  St.  Katherine's  Hospital,  founded  in  1 148  by 
Queen  Matilda,  wife  of  King  Stephen,  chartered  in  1273  by 
Queen  Eleanor,  widow  of  Henry  III.,  and  again  in  1351 
by  Queen  Philippa,  queen  of  Edward  III.,  when  the  duty  of 
visitation  of  the  sick  poor  was  expressly  imposed.  As  soon 
as  the  necessary  arrangements  for  the  adjustment  of  its 
revenues  are  completed,  this  ancient  foundation  will  have 
increased  funds  at  its  disposal. 

22O  Woman  s  Mission. 

The  committee  made  it  its  first  duty  to  develop  training- 
schools  in  London,  Edinburgh,  and  Dublin  ;  and  in  Edinburgh 
the  energy  of  the  late  Lady  Rosebery  rapidly  formed  a  centre, 
extending  to  Glasgow,  Aberdeen,  and  other  important  places. 
In  Dublin  a  commencement  has  been  made  ;  and  throughout 
England  associations  have  come  forward  to  accept  the  con- 
ditions of  affiliation.  A  noble  gift  from  Mr.  Tate  has  greatly 
assisted  the  work,  of  which  the  reports,  rules,  and  all  details 
may  be  seen  in  the  Nursing  Section.  But  although  the 
positions  occupied  by  the  above  foundations  are  the  first  in 
importance,  both  by  intrinsic  merit  and  official  sanction,  full 
justice  cannot  be  done  to  the  interest  felt  in  the  subject  of 
nursing,  especially  on  behalf  of  the  poor  in  Great  Britain, 
without  mentioning  some  very  leading  institutions  which 
have  made  this  work  an  integral  portion  of  their  plan. 
Among  these,  the  institution  founded  by  the  late  Mrs. 
Ranyard  to  send  "  Bible  women  "  to  the  poor  is  doing  good 
nursing  work,  and  has  nearly  one  hundred  nurses  employed 
in  various  poor  parishes  in  London.  The  nursing  branch  is 
under  the  direction  of  Mrs.  Selfe-Leonard,  and  the  institution 
gives  its  nurses  three  months'  hospital  training.  These  nurses 
are  selected  with  extreme  care,  and,  though  they  could  not 
be  certificated  as  fully  trained  nurses,  have  done  very 
valuable  work. 

The  institution  known  as  the  Mildmay  Deaconesses  also 
has  a  branch  for  nurses,  and  employs  them  in  the  homes  of 
the  poor.  The  Sisters  of  St.  John  the  Divine,  formerly  a 
part  of  the  Norfolk  Street  Institution,  have  now  established 
themselves  in  Poplar,  and  give  efficient  help  to  the  poor. 

It  is  difficult  to  decide  whether  maternity  work  should  be 
classed  as  nursing,  and  therefore  included  among  the  under- 
takings described  in  this  paper  or  classed  among  the  strictly 
medical  charities.  If  it  is  regarded  as  women's  work  for 
women,  we  may  mark  its  progress  with  approbation.  A  very 
decided  effort  is  now  being  made  to  provide  well-trained 
midwives  for  the  poor ;  and  though  inadequate  to  the  wants 
of  the  ever-growing  population  of  London,  there  is  a  nucleus 
of  excellent  work  in  the  East  End  Mothers'  Home,  which 
trains  midwives ;  and  a  very  remarkable  effort  to  promote 
good  work  of  this  kind  should  be  noticed  in  the  Maternity 

On  Nursing.  221 

Hospital  at  Clapham,  in  which  there  is  a  school  for  midwives, 
and  the  whole  machinery  of  the  medical  and  nursing  staff 
is  entirely  composed  of  women. 

The  institutions  here  indicated  mostly  concern  London 
only,  or  have  their  centres  there  ;  but  there  is  a  very  active 
general  movement  to  supply  nurses  throughout  the  country 
districts  in  England,  which  is  taking  form  in  various  ways. 

The  Cottage  Nursing  Association,  of  which  the  centre  is 
in  Gloucestershire,  is  fully  described  in  this  Section  by  a  very 
able  paper  from  the  pen  of  Lady  Victoria  Lambton  and  Mrs. 
Malleson  ; — it  gives  the  best  nursing  by  fully  trained  nurses 
and  midwives,  and  deserves  the  highest  praise.  The  same  or 
a  kindred  plan,  also  supplying  highly  trained  nurses,  is  estab- 
lished at  West  Mailing,  in  Kent.  All  the  institutions  named 
previously  as  having  centres  in  towns,  of  course  also  supply 
fully  trained  nurses.  A  very  large  number  of  single  nurses, 
with  different  degrees  of  training,  is  employed  by  ladies ;  one 
or  perhaps  two  nurses  being  placed  in  a  parish,  though  in 
some  cases  they  come  from  the  organization  provided  for 
cottage  hospitals.  But  in  the  remote  country  districts  those 
who  wish  thus  to  assist  poor  people  find  themselves  much 
hindered  by  the  unwillingness  of  the  peasant  poor  to  admit 
very  highly  trained  nurses  into  their  houses.  Their  remote- 
ness makes  daily  visits  of  a  single  hour  or  more  (without 
residence)  unattainable  ;  and  they  will  not  accept  the  services 
of  any  nursing  attendant  who  does  not  undertake  to  assist,  or 
even  to  fulfil,  all  the  necessary  household  duties,  and  supply 
whatever  is  wanted  for  the  general  comfort  of  the  family  as 
well  as  care  of  the  patient.  Now  it  does  seem  an  injustice  to 
compel  fully-trained  nurses,  who  have  sacrificed  much  time 
and  money  to  the  attainment  of  the  delicacy  of  touch  needed 
for  the  highest  surgical  work,  to  undergo  the  risk  of  spoiling 
their  hands  by  housework.  And  it  is  very  unusual  that  the 
severest  surgical  cases  are  ever  attended  at  home.  These 
(mostly  accidents)  are  usually  removed  at  once  to  the  great 
hospitals  in  the  nearest  towns.  I  am  far  from  intending  to 
imply  that  fully-trained  nurses  are  not  always  the  most 
valuable  ;  but  the  difficulty  above  indicated  is  a  very  real 
one,  and  can  only  be  met  by  supplying  a  nurse  of  less 
ambitious  quality.  Another  difficulty  arises  from  the  fact 

222  Woman s  Mission. 

that  a  fully-trained  nurse  placed  alone  in  a  remote  country 
parish  often  finds  that  there  is  not  work  enough  to  employ 
her  time.  These  impediments  have  been  best  overcome  by 
the  Ockley  system,  suggested  by  Miss  Broadwood,  a  lady 
residing  near  Horsham,  in  Surrey.  The  plan  here  is  to 
employ  well-selected  women  from  the  district,  and  give  them 
three  or  four  months'  training  at  the  hospital  at  Plaistow. 
They  are  distributed  as  asked  for  by  the  different  parishes 
belonging  to  groups  arranged  in  various  neighbourhoods. 
By  a  very  excellent  adoption  of  the  "  benefit "  principle, 
funds  for  these  nurses  are  provided  by  a  settled  contribution 
from  each  parish  calculated  in  proportion  to  the  amount  of 
its  population.  It  is  found  that  a  subscription  at  the  rate 
of  twenty-five  or  twenty-seven  shillings  for  every  hundred 
persons  annually  will,  if  there  is  a  large  group  of  parishes, 
supply  the  wages  of  the  nurses.  The  patients  pay  a  weekly 
fee  on  a  graduated  scale  according  to  their  social  position,  viz. 
two  shillings  weekly  for  the  poor  of  the  neighbourhood  ;  five 
shillings  for  artisans  and  small  farmers ;  seven  and  sixpence 
for  substantial  tradesmen  ;  and  one  pound  for  the  gentry  and 
wealthy  inhabitants.  An  annual  subscription  is  expected,  of 
the  same  amount  as  their  weekly  fee.  Evidently  the  plan 
suited  the  wishes  of  the  poor  ;  for  it  was  rapidly  adopted  in 
twenty  parishes  round  Horsham,  and,  with  various  modifica- 
tions, is  being  established  in  many  other  places,  such  as 
Battle,  Rye,  the  neighbourhood  of  Grantham,  etc.  These 
nurses,  though  not  fully  trained,  have  learned  the  primitive 
principles  of  sanitation  and  the  necessary  obedience  to 
doctors  ;  the  medical  men  who  have  tried  them  (some  very 
eminent  ones)  value  them  highly,  and  there  can  be  no  doubt 
that  the  future  establishment  of  a  complete  network  of  fully- 
trained  nursing  is  likely  to  be  greatly  forwarded  by  the 
growth  of  this  humble  but  very  useful  beginning.  As  there 
has  been  some  controversy  on  the  point,  it  is  right  to  add 
here  that  no  want  of  devotion  or  sacrifice  has  been  perceived 
on  the  part  of  the  highly  trained  nurses  who  in  many 
village-epidemics  have  occasionally  been  called  in  and  done 
really  heroic  service.  What  is  here  stated  is  the  result  of 
experience  ;  and  those  who  have  followed  the  work  of  these 
simpler  nurses  are  able  to  testify  to  their  extreme  value  as  an 

On  Nursing.  223 

educational  influence  on  the  poor  whom  they  serve,  and  who 
at  present  would  not  admit  any  others  to  live  in  their 

It  is  impossible  to  close  without  lamenting  the  many 
omissions  which,  from  lack  of  time  and  space,  are  no  doubt 
perceptible  in  this  brief  survey.  Nothing  has  been  said  of 
the  many  excellent  colonial  centres,  and  the  faithful  nursing- 
missionary  work  being  done  in  the  wild  places  of  the  earth 
by  devoted  women.  Miss  Marsden  was  the  last  before  the 
public,  a  name  of  which  every  Englishwoman  may  be  proud, 
for  her  perilous  and  heroic  journey  to  succour  the  lepers  in 
Eastern  Siberia,  an  undertaking  which  is  likely  to  prove  of 
great  benefit. 

224  Woman  s  Mission. 



I  HAVE  been  asked  to  write  a  short  account  of  the  work  done 
by  the  Royal  School  of  Art  Needlework,  in  order  that  it 
may  be  included  among  the  papers  on  philanthropic  work 
in  England,  which  are  to  be  read  at  the  Chicago  Exhibition. 
I  feel  great  diffidence  in  complying  with  this  kind  request,  and 
beg  for  lenient  criticism. 

The  Royal  School  of  Art  Needlework  sprang,  so  to  speak, 
from  nothing,  and  has  now  become  one  of  the  most  important, 
if  not  the  most  important  school  of  its  kind.  I  would  be 
bold  enough  to  say  that  it  is  the  only  school  of  its  kind  in 
the  kingdom. 

As  I  have  said,  it  sprang  from  nothing.  Some  friends  of 
mine,  Lady  Welby  Gregory  in  particular,  first  suggested  the 
idea,  and  spoke  to  me  about  it.  I  was  at  once  greatly  struck 
by  and  interested  in  the  scheme,  and  asked  her  to  let  me 
help  her  in  carrying  it  out. 

The  idea  was  this  :  first  of  all  to  restore  the  nearly-lost  art 
of  ornamental  needlework  to  its  high  place  among  decorative 
arts,  and  in  the  second  place  to  provide  suitable  employment 
for  gentlewomen  who,  through  loss  of  fortune  or  other  reverses, 
are  obliged  to  earn  their  own  livelihood.  The  school  was 
founded  in  1872,  twenty-one  years  ago.  A  small  room  in  a 
house  in  Sloane  Street  saw  its  beginning,  and  in  1875  it  was 
removed  to  its  present  home  in  Exhibition  Road,  when  my 
mother,  the  Queen,  became  its  patron  and  conferred  on  it  the 
prefix  "  Royal." 

In  1878,  experience  having  shown  that  the  objects  for 

The  Royal  School  of  Art  Needlework.          225 

\vhich  the  school  had  been  founded  were  appreciated  by  the 
public,  it  was  determined  to  establish  it  on  a  more  permanent 
basis.  The  school  was  accordingly  incorporated  under  the 
Corporation  Acts,  and  received  the  licence  of  the  Board  of 
Trade  applicable  to  associations  not  constituted  for  purposes 
of  profit,  by  the  terms  of  which  the  income  and  property  of 
the  school,  whencesoever  derived,  must  be  applied  solely  to 
the  promotion  of  the  object  of  the  school. 

The  management  is  vested  in  the  president  and  com- 

The  school  has  hitherto  been  entirely  self-supporting,  and 
has  received  no  Government  grant,  and  although  the  building 
which  it  occupies  at  present  is  the  property  of  her  Majesty's 
Commissioners  of  Science  and  Art,  a  rent  of  £236  per  annum 
has  throughout  been  paid. 

Since  the  date  of  its  foundation  in  1872,  when  I  accepted 
the  office  of  president,  the  school  has  carried  on  an  important 
work  in  its  own  department  of  art,  in  which  it  has  for  many 
years  been  the  acknowledged  leader  both  in  this  country  and 
abroad.  Representatives  of  other  countries  have  for  a  long 
time  past  been  in  the  habit  of  applying  to  the  school  for 
particulars  as  to  the  work,  the  method  of  instruction,  and 
the  details  of  management.  Besides  the  position  which  it 
occupies  in  other  respects,  this  institution  fills  a  most  useful 
purpose  in  giving  employment  to  a  large  number  of  educated 
women,  whose  circumstances  and  conditions  of  life  render  it 
peculiarly  difficult  for  them  to  obtain  a  livelihood,  and  without 
which  they  would  have  nothing  but  the  workhouse  or  star- 
vation staring  them  in  the  face. 

A  special  feature  in  the  working  of  the  school  is  that, 
unlike  most  other  societies  or  institutions,  it  has  enabled  its 
members  to  earn  a  small  but  steady  livelihood,  the  rule  being 
to  admit  only  so  many  as  there  is  a  reasonable  prospect  of 
employing  regularly,  and  we  always  pay  for  their  work  once 
a  week,  quite  irrespectively  of  the  returns  of  the  school.  I 
need  not  remark  here  that  it  should  be  well  understood  that 
such  a  Lrule  must  involve  a  considerable  sacrifice  at  times 
when  business  is  less  active  than  usual.  We  have  passed 
through  many  anxious  weeks  and  months,  for  as  the  work 
done  is  such  as  must  be  classed  under  the  denomination  of 


226  Woman  s  Mission. 

''  luxuries,"  the  great  depression,  which  has  extended  to  all 
interests,  has  naturally  affected  us  in  no  small  degree.  But 
the  storm  has  been  weathered,  the  school  is  going  on  its 
way  surely  and  steadily,  and  the  terrible  thought  of  having 
to  dismiss  workers  whose  whole  existence  depended  on  their 
earnings  at  the  school,  no  more  torments  those  who  have  its 
welfare  so  much  at  heart.  The  workrooms  are  full,  and 
orders  are  coming  in. 

Branches  and  agencies,  which  have  enabled  the  school  to 
secure  advantageous  positions  for  some  of  its  workers,  have 
been  formed  from  time  to  time  in  provincial  towns  and  else- 

It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  school  has  hitherto 
not  been  a  teaching  school,  passing  pupils  on  to  other  employ- 
ments. We  have,  however,  taught  a  great  number  of  persons. 
Those  trained  by  the  school,  and  who  have  become  daily 
workers  in  it,  are  in  number  about  three  hundred  and  fifty, 
of  whom  from  eighty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  have  been 
employed  at  the  same  time  in  the  school  itself.  Of  these 
some  remain  at  this  present  moment  who  were  in  it  when 
it  was  founded  twenty-one  years  ago.  Of  these  three 
hundred  and  fifty,  fifty-one  have,  after  qualifying  them- 
selves, been  passed  on  as  teachers  or  workers  to  the 
colonies  or  elsewhere.  Five  proceeded  directly  from  the 
school  to  be  placed  as  heads  of  "  Decorative  Art "  societies 
in  America. 

Much  more  might  have  been  done  in  this  direction  had 
the  funds  allowed,  but  the  training  of  teachers  is  expensive, 
besides  which,  many  of  those  who  wish  to  fit  themselves  for 
such  positions  are  deterred  by  their  inability  to  give  the 
necessary  time  for  learning,  and  by  circumstances  which 
oblige  them  to  earn  their  livelihood  from  day  to  day.  The 
length  of  time  required  to  train  pupils  so  as  to  fit  them  to 
earn  their  own  livelihood  by  needlework  is  eighteen  months, 
allowing  only  the  very  shortest  period  of  training.  Three 
years  are  required  for  those  who  wish  to  obtain  first-class 
certificates  as  teachers.  The  cost  of  training  and  teaching 
would  be  approximately  from  £16  to  £20  a  head  for 
teachers,  and  half  that  sum  for  workers.  That  calculation 
is  based  on  the  assumption  that  two  first-rate  teachers  are 

The  Royal  School  of  Art  Needlework.         227 

required   for   every    fifty   pupils,   and    it   does   not   include 
the  necessary  proportion  of  outlay  for  rent,  plant,  etc. 

Private  lessons  in  art  needlework  have  also  been  exten- 
sively given  outside  the  school,  in  London  and  upwards  of 
thirty  provincial  towns,  to  both  individuals  and  classes,  upon 
a  fixed  scale  of  fees.  The  number  of  such  lessons  given 
during  the  last  ten  years  exceeds  6000. 

Ever  since  the  school  has  been  formed,  my  Council, 
Executive  Committee,  and  I  myself  have  looked  forward  to 
the  time  when  the  school  might  adopt  systematic  teaching 
on  a  larger  scale,  but  want  of  funds  has  delayed  all  extension 
in  this  direction.  Now,  however,  after  making  application 
to  her  Majesty's  Commissioners  for  Science  and  Art  for  a 
grant,  a  portion  of  the  site  on  which  the  French  Court  of  the 
Exhibition  of  1862  stood,  has  been  given  over  to  the  school  at 
a  rental  of  £200  per  annum.  On  this  site  it  is  my  intention 
to  erect  a  permanent  building  as  head-quarters  of  the  school. 
I  am  collecting  funds  for  this  purpose,  and  also  for  the 
permanent  endowment  of  the  school ;  the  training  of  pupils, 
who  would  afterwards  earn  their  own  livelihood  by  their 
work ;  and  the  training  of  teachers,  who  would  in  their  turn 
be  sent  to  different  parts  of  the  country  to  train  others.  I 
am  also  most  anxious  that  scholarships  should  be  given,, 
and  for  this  purpose  I  consider  that  £50  a  year  is  the  lowest 
amount  on  which  any  girl  can  live  in  London  while  under- 
going her  training,  taking  it  for  granted  that  she  has  no* 
other  means. 

So  much  has  been  done  in  England  for  the  encourage- 
ment of  other  branches  of  art  that  I  feel  sure  it  will  only 
be  necessary  to  draw  due  attention  to  the  subject  of  art 
needlework  to  secure  for  it  full  acknowledgment  on  the  part 
of  those  who  have  in  other  ways  shown  their  practical 
interest  in  all  that  pertains  to  the  higher  culture  and  future 
well-being  of  the  women  of  this  country. 

228  Woman  s  Mission. 



FROM  the  earliest  days  of  Christianity  women  in  Ireland 
were  engaged  in  philanthropic  work.  Tradition  and  the  few 
records  left  of  Saint  Brigid  show  her  occupying  herself  with 
the  poor,  teaching  the  young  and  nursing  the  sick,  and  the 
recollection  of  her  beneficence  still  abides  in  the  minds  of 
the  people. 

During  the  penal  times  the  majority  of  the  Irish  had  no 
legal  existence,  could  hold  no  property  by  law,  and  therefore 
helpful  work  could  not  be  publicly  undertaken  by  them  ;  but 
among  the  powerful  minority  there  arose  in  the  last  century 
three  women  whose  philanthropy  established  institutions 
in  Dublin  for  the  general  good,  which  still  continue  to  render 
service.  These  were  Griselda  Steevens,  who  devoted  her 
entire  fortune  and  energies  to  the  poor  in  the  hospital  still 
bearing  her  name  ;  Mary  Mercer,  who  built  Mercer's  Hos- 
pital and  bequeathed  a  fund  in  perpetuity  for  the  education 
and  maintenance  of  poor  girls ;  and  Lady  Arabella  Denny, 
who  made  a  special  work  of  the  visitation  of  poor-houses 
in  the  interests  of  little  children,  finally  devoting  herself  to 
the  endowment  of  a  Magdalen  Asylum. 

It  was  not  until  after  the  relaxation  of  the  penal  laws 
that  Mary  Aikenhead,  the  daughter  of  a  Cork  physician, 
founded  the  religious  order  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  having 
no  capital  to  start  with,  except  a  great  heart  and  a  bright 
and]  strong  intelligence.  The  story  of  the  uphill  labours  of 
this  wise  and  energetic  woman  would  fill  volumes.  She 

Philanthropic   Work  in  Ireland.  229 

gathered  around  her  women  as  ardent  as  herself,  and  insti- 
tuted a  large  and  varied  number  of  good  works,  which  have 
been  growing  and  extending  ever  since  her  day,  for  the  suc- 
cour and  elevation  of  her  suffering  countrymen  and  women. 

After  her  came  Catherine  Macaulay,  who  initiated  the 
order  of  the  Sisters  of  Mercy,  vowed  to  similar  noble  enter- 
prises; and  other  religious  orders  have  long  since  established 
themselves  in  the  country  for  the  service  of  the  sick  and 
poor,  and  the  instruction  of  the  ignorant  and  the  young  in 
their  neighbourhood. 

At  the  present  moment  a  large  amount  of  philanthropic 
work  of  an  industrial  character,  initiated  and  carried  on  by 
women  of  all  denominations,  is  going  forward  in  Ireland. 
Factories  for  weaving  woollens  and  linens  have  been  intro- 
duced into  several  convents,  the  most  remarkable  being  the 
Providence  Technical  Woollen  Manufactory  at  Foxford, 
founded  and  carried  on  by  Mrs.  Morrogh  Bernard,  of  the 
Sisters  of  Charity,  and  her  nuns.  Of  this  important  industry, 
and  of  the  work  carried  on  by  Mrs.  Rogers  at  Carrick  and 
Carna,  and  by  Miss  Roberts  among  the  Rosses,  the  wild 
headlands  of  Donegal,  a  very  striking  account  is  given  by 
the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts  in  her  paper  entitled  "  Woman, 
the  Missionary  of  Industry." 

Several  smaller  undertakings  in  the  weaving  of  wool  have 
been  set  on  foot  in  different  parts  of  Ireland,  the  introduction 
of  hand-looms  in  the  houses  of  the  peasants,  and  the  sale  of 
the  cloth  produced.  One  of  these  is  the  Baltony  Frieze 
Industry,  initiated  by  Mrs.  Martin,  who  is  an  owner  of 
property  in  a  wild  part  of  Donegal,  where  the  tenants  are 
poor  and  the  land  unremunerative  and  difficult  of  cultivation. 
There  are  now  looms  in  five  of  the  cottages,  the  wool  of 
their  own  sheep  is  carded  and  spun  in  the  family,  and  the 
tweed  produced  is  sold  by  the  agency  of  Mrs.  Martin's 

At  Tramore  a  similar  work  is  carried  on  by  Miss  H. 
Reeves  and  Miss  Woodroffe,  lady  superintendent  of  the 
Industrial  Schools,  these  ladies  having  introduced  three 
woollen  and  three  linen  looms  among  the  cottages,  besides 
erecting  looms  in  Industrial  Schools. 

The    Sisters   of    Mercy   at    Skibbereen   have   opened   a 

230  Woman's  Mission. 

factory  for  weaving  linen  in  their  convent,  assisted  by  Sir 
William  Ewart  of  Belfast,  who  gave  them  useful  practical 
advice,  presented  them  with  two  looms,  and  opened  a 
market  for  their  productions.  In  1891  they  sent  up  forty- 
seven  pupils  who  passed  the  examination  by  Government 
Inspectors  in  weaving,  and  forty-three  other  pupils  were 
equally  successful  in  1892.  The  sisters  have  now  twenty- 
three  looms,  nine  wheels,  and  a  warping  mill  at  work,  employ 
eighty-eight  girls,  and  turn  out  sheeting,  towelling,  handker- 
chiefs, and  dress  lawns  of  finest  quality.  Seven  religious 
communities  have  followed  in  the  footsteps  of  the  sisters 
at  Skibbereen  and  have  initiated  small  factories,  the  Sisters 
of  Mercy  at  Queenstown  having  expended  .£400  on  premises 
for  linen-weaving. 

A  much  older  industry  in  Ireland,  and  one  most  par- 
ticularly the  work  of  women,  is  the  manufacture  of  lace, 
which  has  been  long  established  as  employment  for  the  poor, 
in  religious  houses,  and  in  classes  maintained  by  philanthropic 
ladies  working  individually  or  in  groups  in  remote  parts  of 
the  country. 

The  Youghal  lace,  made  by  peasant  women  under  the 
Presentation  Nuns,  deserves  its  high  reputation.  In  the 
course  of  time  fifty  new  stitches  have  been  invented  by 
the  workers,  in  addition  to  those  of  the  old  Italian  lace  they 
first  learned  to  make,  and  as  they  also  produce  their  own 
designs,  the  Youghal  lace  may  be  almost  said  to  be  an 
original  fabric.  The  lace-makers  of  Youghal  have  earned  as 
much  among  them  as  from  ;£i6oo  to  ;£i8oo  per  annum. 
Many  of  the  original  workers  are  now  aged  widows  and 
continue  to  support  themselves  by  their  art.  They  have  in 
their  time  supplied  lace  to  two  Popes,  to  Her  Majesty  Queen 
Victoria,  and  to  many  other  distinguished  personages.  A 
lace  flounce  valued  at  £70  per  yard,  and  fans  at  £30  each, 
have  been  prepared  at  Youghal  for  exhibition  at  the  Chicago 
World's  Fair.  The  earnings  of  the  workers  vary  from  two 
shillings  to  ten  shillings  per  week. 

Other  lace-making  convents  are  those  of  the  Poor  Clares, 
Kenmare,  County  Kerry,  of  Our  Lady  of  Mercy,  Holy  Cross, 
Killarney,  and  of  the  Sisters  of  St.  Louis,  Carrickmacross. 
Handsome  embroideries,  known  as  Mountmellick  work,  are 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  231 

made  at  the  Presentation  Convent,  Mountmellick,  Queen's 

In  Limerick  there  is  an  interesting  revival  of  an  old  art 
which  had  fallen  into  decay.  About  ten  years  ago  Mrs. 
R.  V.  O'Brien,  niece  of  the  late  Matthew  Arnold,  and 
adopted  daughter  of  the  late  W.  E.  Forster,  Chief  Secretary 
for  Ireland,  undertook  to  restore  this  art ;  and  the  work  is 
now  flourishing  in  a  pleasant  room  in  Bank  Place,  Limerick, 
where  about  twenty  girls  sing  the  Irish  melodies  over  their 
dainty  stitches,  and  make  charming  articles  for  ladies  to 
wear,  even  of  the  latest  fashion,  including  graceful  fronts  for 
tea-gowns,  etc. 

Mrs.  Hall  Dare  has  maintained  a  lace  class  at  New- 
townbarry,  County  Wexford,  since  the  year  1868,  learning 
to  make  Greek  and  Italian  lace  in  London  that  she  might 
teach  twenty  poor  girls  to  earn  their  livelihood.  After  a 
great  deal  of  pains,  Mrs.  Hall  Dare  succeeded  in  teaching 
the  girls  to  make  the  lace.  She  provided  the  materials, 
paid  the  girls  once  a  week  for  the  work  done,  and  took  all 
risks.  For  a  great  many  years  she  lost  money,  but  the  work 
is  now  self-supporting,  and  the  workers  can  earn  as  much  as 
ten  shillings  a  week.  She  has,  however,  only  a  few  workers 
at  present,  as  she  finds  that  the  girls  around  her  no  longer 
submit  to  the  tedium  of  learning  to  make  lace. 

A  similar  class  is  to  be  found  in  Cappoquin,  County 
Waterford,  owing  its  existence  to  the  benevolent  exertions 
of  Miss  Keane. 

At  Ballintra  Miss  Hamilton  has  given  her  protection  to 
a  number  of  poor  women  who  had  for  years  earned  scanty 
wages  by  working  exquisite  embroideries  in  their  homes, 
and  under  exceeding  difficulties.  Miss  Hamilton  has 
supplied  them  with  new  materials  and  designs,  and  raised 
the  standard  of  their  work,  which  has  thus  become  more 

Another  branch  of  needlework  is  hand-sewing  of  fine 
under-garments,  which  gives  employment  to  many  girls 
under  the  care  of  the  Sisters  of  Mercy  and  Charity  in 
different  localities.  In  some  places  the  work  is  so  exqui- 
sitely done  that  orders  are  received  from  the  ladies  of  highest 
position,  for  trousseaux,  etc.  Among  these  high  schools  for 

232  Woman  s  Mission. 

sewing  are  those  of  the  Sisters  of  Mercy  at  Newry  and  the 
Sisters  of  Charity  at  Merrion,  near  Dublin.  Dressmaking  is 
taught  and  carried  on  at  the  Convent  of  the  Sisters  of  Saint 
Louis,  Carrickm across,  where  a  skilled  mistress  instructs 
about  eighty  girls  in  cutting  out  and  making  up  all  kinds  of 
dresses,  shirts,  petticoats,  pinafores,  aprons,  etc. 

But  it  is  not  possible  to  enumerate  here  all  the  convents 
which  are  centres  for  industrial  work  of  this  kind.  In  Castle- 
finn  an  admirable  hand-sewing  industry  has  been  carried  on 
for  years  by  the  devoted  exertions  of  Mrs.  and  the  Misses 
Scott,  who  enable  a  large  number  of  girls  and  women  to  earn 
a  livelihood  and  live  in  contentment.  Mrs.  Bagwell  and 
other  ladies  give  a  considerable  share  of  their  time  to  a 
sewing-class  in  Clonmel,  where  girls  are  taught  to  make  and 
mend  their  own  clothing.  Mrs.  Ponsonby,  of  Garry  Hill, 
gives  her  care  to  a  class,  which  has  been  very  happy  in 
results,  for  drawn  linen  work,  work  of  silk  on  linen,  and 
lace,  etc.  An  industry  of  wool  embroidery  is  fostered  by 
Mrs.  Vesey,  of  Bagnalstown.  Lady  Gregory,  of  Coole,  County 
Galway,  has  by  her  exertions  improved  the  red  flannel  made 
by  the  country  people.  At  Ballyardle,  County  Down,  Miss 
Stewart  has  changed  the  conditions  of  a  whole  district  by 
teaching  the  poor  women  to  knit  and  embroider  for  the 
market  which  she  opens  to  them. 

Mrs.  Sinclair  sends  particulars  of  her  work  among  the 
cottage  homes  of  Donegal  which  are  exceedingly  interesting. 
Hard  and  grim  as  are  the  conditions  of  life  in  that  stern 
region,  she  has  found  means  to  soften  the  lot  of  the  peasant 
by  providing  work,  the  making  up  of  clothing,  also  wood- 
carving,  for  which  the  pupils  have  aptitude  ;  and  she  has 
even  started  a  cottage  hospital,  where  the  sick  are  cared  for 
and  befriended.  In  speaking  of  their  work  Mrs.  Sinclair  says 
truly,  "  Irish  girls  seem  particularly  capable  of  appreciating 
skill  when  they  see  it ;  and  to  show  them  excellence,  I  have 
found,  is  most  successful  in  leading  them  on."  She  recom- 
mends a  system  of  certificates,  guarded  against  fraudulent 
use,  for  the  benefit  of  girls  who  take  the  trouble  to  persevere  : 
employers  might  be  directed  thus  to  safe  workers,  and 
might  give  them  better  wages. 

A  knitting  industry  is  centred  in  Valencia  Island,  under  the 

Philanthropic   Work  in  Ireland.  233 

care  of  Miss  E.  Fitzgerald  ;  and  here  the  workers  do  a  special 
business  in  knitted  jerseys,  which  are  sent  to  the  United 
States  and  Canada,  the  Falkland  Islands,  Austria,  and  France. 
Like  others,  the  benevolent  promoters  of  this  industry  had 
many  obstacles  to  surmount  in  the  beginning,  but  the  only 
remaining  difficulty  is  that  of  obtaining  sufficient  orders  to 
keep  willing  hands  employed.  In  passing  on  to  mention  other 
industries  of  this  very  interesting  character,  I  may  say  that 
those  I  have  named  bear  but  a  small  proportion  to  the 
number  of  works  in  knitting  and  needlework  of  every  kind 
for  the  relief  of  Irish  poverty,  carried  on  by  women,  both  lay 
and  of  religious  orders  in  this  country. 

More  novel  and  perhaps  therefore  more  striking  is  the 
basket  and  wickerwork  industry  going  forward  under  the 
direction  of  Miss  Sturge,  at  Letterfrack,  in  Connemara. 
Finding  the  people  half-starved,  and  idle  for  lack  of  employ- 
ment, Miss  Sturge  decided  on  settling  among  them  for 
their  benefit.  Bringing  with  her  a  skilful  French  wicker- 
worker,  she  succeeded  in  getting  a  loan  of  the  Court  House 
of  the  district  in  which  to  begin  her  operations.  She  has 
now  a  large  iron  building,  which  is  a  technical  school  and 
factory,  and  beautiful  delicate  work  is  sent  out  by  her  pupils, 
who  are  able  to  make  almost  anything  of  wickerwork — beds, 
chairs,  tables,  book-cases.  The  employment  given,  with  its 
remuneration,  has,  needless  to  say,  greatly  improved  the 
condition  of  the  people. 

Another  very  useful  enterprise  is  that  under  Miss 
Bourke,  at  Lisnagary,  Limerick,  where  boys  and  men  learn 
to  carve  in  wood,  and  succeed  so  well  that  orders  have  been 
received  for  pieces  of  handsome  carving  from  far  across  the 
world,  and  even  from  the  President  of  the  Royal  Academy 
of  London,  Sir  Frederick  Leighton.  Some  of  these  carvings 
are  wrought  from  the  strange  and  beautiful  designs  in  ancient 
Irish  manuscripts.  In  a  charming  report  Miss  Bourke  makes 
one  feel  how  refining  and  elevating  is  the  effect  of  this 
art  on  the  youth  of  the  neighbourhood,  and  in  the  homes  at 

To  the  Munster  Dairy  and  Agricultural  School  have  been 
added  classes,  the  expense  of  which  is  defrayed  by  a  number 
of  ladies  in  committee,  who  have  benevolently  desired  to 

234  Womafis  Mission. 

teach  additional  kinds  of  usefulness  to  the  girls  who  come 
to  the  school  to  learn  a  thorough  system  of  dairying.  In 
these  classes  the  girls  are  taught  cooking,  economical  manage- 
ment of  food,  cooking  for  the  sick,  laundry  work,  and  plain 

Before  quitting  the  subject  of  small  industries  we  must 
give  honourable  mention  to  those  which  enable  ladies  who 
have  met  with  reverse  of  fortune  to  gain  a  little  money  in 
a  quiet  way  by  their  own  exertions.  This  is  a  noble  work, 
for  few  suffer  so  much  from  poverty  as  the  gentlewoman  who, 
having  been  delicately  nurtured,  finds  herself  destitute  of  the 
means  of  living,  and  shrinks  from  calling  attention  to  her 
unhappy  state. 

Of  these  kindly  undertakings  is  Mrs.  Dalison's  Guild  for 
Impoverished  Irish  Gentlewomen.  Finding  a  large  number 
of  ladies  suffering  in  poverty  from  the  failure  of  rents,  Mrs. 
Dalison  supplied  them  with  designs  and  materials  for  sale- 
able work,  and  at  a  recent  sale  at  Grosvenor  House,  London, 
exhibited  some  really  beautiful  things  made  by  gentlewomen. 
Mrs.  Dalison's  invaluable  work  is  steadily  increasing  in 

Another  enterprise  of  this  excellent  class  is  the  Irish 
Ladies'  Work  Society,  Kingstown,  Dublin,  which  numbers 
one  hundred  members  and  is  self-supporting.  It  has  a  stall  at 
the  annual  sale  at  the  Albert  Hall,  London,  and  receives 
orders  from  the  depot  in  Devonshire  Street  The  depot  of 
this  society  is  at  47,  Georges  Street,  Kingstown. 

Under  this  head  may  also  be  described  the  Royal  Irish 
Association  for  Promoting  the  Training  and  Employment  of 
Women,  which  was  established  in  1883,  to  provide  technical 
training  for  women,  and  suitable  remunerative  employment 
for  those  so  trained.  Work  is  undertaken  in  scrivenery, 
plan-tracing,  type-writing,  illuminating,  wood-carving,  and 
printing.  Pupils  who  are  learning  in  order  to  get  their  liveli- 
hood receive  a  month's  instruction  of  two  lessons  a  week  for 
five  shillings.  Though  doing  a  large  amount  of  work,  and 
assisting  numbers,  the  society  is  not  yet  self-supporting,  and 
depends  on  the  subscriptions  of  members. 

The  orphanages  and  training-schools  for  boys  and  girls 
maintained  by  the  exertions  of  women  are  so  numerous 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  235 

throughout  Ireland  that,  in  speaking  of  them,  one  scarcely 
knows  where  to  begin.  This  is  a  work  to  which  the  religious 
orders  especially  devote  themselves,  and  it  is  impossible 
within  the  limits  of  this  paper  even  to  mention  all. 

For  instance,  the  poor  schools  of  the  Sisters  of  Mercy,  Saint 
Marie  of  the  Isles,  Cork,  accommodate  one  thousand  children, 
and  they  have  usually  seventy  children  in  their  orphanage. 
This  work  is  repeated  again  and  again  throughout  the  re- 
ligious houses  of  women.  A  remarkable  training  school  is 
that  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity  at  Stanhope  Street,  Dublin, 
which  is  devoted  to  the  children  of  respectable  parents,  or 
orphans  whose  guardians  wish  to  have  them  trained  to 
industry.  Having  trained  their  girls,  the  sisters  start  them 
in  life  by  procuring  good  situations  for  them  as  servants, 
teachers,  nursery  governesses.  A  large  proportion  are  sent 
to  noble  families  in  France,  as  English-speaking  maids. 
In  the  institution  at  present  are  one  hundred  and  thirty 
children,  no  Government  aid  being  given.  A  National  School, 
attended  by  six  hundred  children,  is  in  the  grounds  of  the  con- 
vent, and  taught  by  the  sisters,  who  also  visit  four  parochial 
schools  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  give  instruction  privately  in 
the  evenings  to  classes  from  without  the  walls.  The  sisters 
also  visit  the  convict  and  county  prison  as  well  as  two  hospitals. 
An  office  for  servants  is  attached  to  this  institution. 

The  training  of  the  female  blind  is  another  work  of  the 
Sisters  of  Charity,  carried  on  at  Merrion,  near  Dublin.  One 
hundred  and  sixty  blind  inmates,  from  mites  of  three  years 
to  grandmothers  of  eighty,  receive  the  constant  care  of  the 
sisters,  and  form  a  large  and  happy  household.  They  are 
taught  all  that  it  is  possible  to  teach  the  blind,  and  their 
tasks  are  so  pleasantly  mingled  with  recreation  and  amuse- 
ment that,  having  spent  some  time  among  them,  one  is 
inclined  to  wonder  if  blindness  be  a  great  affliction  under 
such  circumstances.  There  is  an  air  of  refinement  and  a 
gentle  mirth  about  them  all,  especially  remarkable  in  the 
little  children.  These  small  creatures  receive  the  visitor  with 
a  tender  confidence  which  shows  how  they  are  accustomed 
to  caresses,  and  come  waving  their  little  arms  towards  one, 
with  that  peculiar  and  piteous  movement  of  a  sightless  child, 
asking  with  their  soft  and  musical  voices  for  permission  to 

236  Woman's  Mission. 

"see"  the  stranger.  The  music  cultivated  by  the  blind 
women  and  girls  is  delightful.  Several  harps  and  pianos 
stand  at  the  end  of  a  great  hall,  with  the  aid  of  which  really 
fine  musical  entertainments  are  given.  All  who  have  voices 
sing  over  their  knitting  and  sewing,  others  tell  stories  or 
recite  poetry  in  the  intervals  of  lively  conversation.  There 
remains  on  my  memory  one  pathetic  face,  a  blind  face  at  the 
organ  in  the  chapel.  A  girl  was  there,  solitary,  practising 
sacred  music  ;  she  could  not  see  us  come  in,  and  thought 
herself  alone.  It  was  a  grey  face,  with  no  beauty  but  the 
expression,  which  told  how  the  soul  in  darkness  was  thrilled 
and  comforted  by  the  solemn  strains  evoked  by  her  hands. 
Another  sight  to  remember  was  that  of  three  blind  women 
walking  quickly,  arm  in  arm,  with  their  heads  bent  down — 
walking  in  the  dark  along  a  path  in  the  light  Their  peculiar 
swift  movement  of  three  as  one,  gave  them  the  look  of  being 
driven  along  by  a  wind.  These  sightless  scholars  are  taught 
reading  and  writing  in  the  Braille  characters,  history,  grammar, 
geography,  type-writing,  needlework  ;  and  music,  vocal  and 
of  many  instruments.  Under  the  same  roof  the  sisters  have 
an  industrial  school,  a  training  school  for  girls  from  sixteen 
to  eighteen  years  old,  a  hand-sewing  industry  where  exquisite 
underclothing  for  ladies  is  made  up  ;  in  all  a  family  of  four 
hundred  souls.  The  Sisters  of  Charity  also  maintain,  near 
Cork,  a  similar  institution  for  the  blind. 

Attached  to  the  Cork  Workhouse  a  training  school  was 
opened  some  eight  years  ago  by  a  committee  of  ladies  of  all 
denominations,  who  united  in  an  effort  to  rescue  girls  of 
sixteen  from  the  evils  threatening  them  on  their  removal 
from  that  part  of  the  workhouse  known  as  the  schools.  On 
being  drafted  into  the  body  of  the  house,  the  girls  met  with 
bad  companions,  who  enticed  them  out  into  the  city  to  their 
ruin.  At  the  best  they  were  ignorant  of  everything  useful, 
and  totally  unable  to  find  employment.  The  ladies,  having 
gained  from  the  guardians  an  extension  of  time  in  school 
for  the  girls,  instituted  classes  to  instruct  them  in  house- 
work, cookery,  etc.  A  separate  ward  and  a  matron  have 
been  provided,  and  already  over  a  hundred  girls  are  enabled 
to  earn  livelihoods  in  situations  outside  the  "  house,"  instead 
of,  at  the  best,  remaining  there  a  burthen  on  the  ratepayers. 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  237 

It  is  cheering  to  learn  that  some  of  the  girls  so  assisted  have 
now  got  money  saved  and  in  bank. 

Among  orphanages  the  most  original  and  extended  is 
that  of  the  Sisters  of  the  Holy  Faith,  of  Glasnevin,  Dublin, 
whose  system  is  founded  on  fosterage,  and  who  place  the 
children  they  undertake  to  provide  for,  not  en  masse  in  a 
great  building  or  "home,"  but  out  in  the  open  country  in 
the  cottages  of  the  peasantry,  one  here  and  one  there,  all 
enjoying  the  individual  love  and  care  which  are  the  in- 
heritance of  poor  children  in  Ireland  possessed  of  father  and 
mother,  no  matter  how  mean  the  dwelling  or  how  frugal  the 
living  of  the  family.  The  sisters  have  the  nurslings  under 
their  personal  observation,  visiting  them  frequently  and 
unexpectedly,  and  thus  assuring  themselves  of  their  condition 
and  treatment.  The  children,  with  their  foster-brothers  and 
sisters,  attend  the  nearest  schools,  and  the  foster-mother 
receives  in  addition  to  an  annual  stipend  a  reward  of  ten 
shillings  when  the  child  can  say  his  prayers.  A  further 
prize  is  given  when  he  is  able  to  read.  The  plan  works 
perfectly,  the  Irish  peasant  being  particularly  fitted  for  such 
a  trust.  It  often  occurs  that  the  orphans,  when  grown  up, 
are  regarded  by  the  foster  father  and  mother  as  their  own 
children ;  in  some  cases  remaining  for  the  comfort  and 
support  of  the  old  people  when  they  have  been  deprived  of 
sons  and  daughters  by  death  or  the  exigencies  of  life.  This 
orphanage  has  been  designed  for  the  poorest  poor,  and  up 
to  the  present  has  rescued  2108  children  from  destitution. 
Of  these,  1873  have  been  provided  for;  among  whom  507 
have  been  finally  adopted  by  the  foster  parents,  and  have 
become  members  of  respectable  Irish  peasant  families.  Two 
hundred  and  thirty-five  boys  and  girls  are  at  present  in  the 
orphanage.  Connected  with  the  orphanage  are  poor-schools, 
in  Dublin,  by  means  of  which  twenty  thousand  children,  saved 
from  poverty,  ignorance,  and  the  danger  of  vice,  are  now, 
to  the  extent  of  ninety  per  cent,  respectable  men  and  women 
earning  independent  livelihoods.  The  schools  and  orphanage 
were  founded  some  years  ago  by  the  late  Margaret  Aylward. 

Orphanages  carried  on  by  women  individually,  include 
Mrs.  Smyly's  Birds'  Nest,  in  connection  with  which  are  schools, 
and  homes  for  boys  and  girls  in  Kingstown  and  Dublin  ;  and 

238  Woman's  Mission. 

the  Sacred  Heart  Home  for  girls  and  boys  at  Drumcondra, 
Dublin,  which  is  maintained  by  the  exertions  of  ladies. 

The  home  for  aged  men  and  women,  supported  by  the 
Little  Sisters  of  the  Poor  in  Dublin,  must  not  be  forgotten. 
These  devoted  sisters  feed  their  household  on  the  meat  and 
bread  which  they  beg  from  door  to  door,  making  tea  from 
the  tea-leaves  saved  for  them  in  hotels  and  large  houses.  A 
visit  to  their  kitchen  will  show  what  appetizing  soups  and 
mince  can  be  made  of  materials  thus  obtained.  Even  bread 
is  so  neatly  cut  in  small  dice  that  it  looks  as  if  fresh  from 
the  baker's  tray.  Having  thus  with  astonishing  economy 
utilized,  literally,  the  crumbs  that  fall  from  the  rich  man's 
table,  the  Little  Sisters  first  serve  the  table  of  their  poor 
clients,  and  afterwards,  with  what  remains,  set  forth  their  own. 
Here,  the  old  women  can  enjoy  their  cups  of  tea,  and  the  old 
men  their  pipes — comforts  ignored  by  the  workhouse  system. 

Among  other  homes  and  asylums  supported  by  women, 
is  the  Magdalen  Asylum  at  High  Park,  near  Dublin,  where 
the  Sisters  of  the  Good  Shepherd  devote  their  lives  to  the 
care  of  poor  fallen  girls  and  women,  instructing  them,  employ- 
ing them  in  laundry-work,  and  encouraging  them  to  lead 
useful  and  virtuous  lives  in  this  industrial  retreat.  A  similar 
asylum  at  Donnybrook,  near  Dublin,  is  supported  by  the 
Sisters  of  Charity.  Another  admirable  work  of  this  kind  is 
the  Londonderry  and  North  West  of  Ireland  Home  for 
Women,  under  the  protection  of  Mrs.  Alexander,  wife  of  the 
Bishop  of  Derry,  where  twenty-one  poor  fallen  women  and 
girls  are  sheltered  and  employed,  and  assisted  to  emigrate 
or  obtain  a  means  of  livelihood. 

Mention  should  be  made  of  the  vast  amount  of  good  done 
in  Ireland  by  women  of  all  denominations,  in  the  nursing  and 
visitation  of  the  sick  and  poor  by  means  of  societies  and 
sodalities  in  connection  with  the  various  churches,  assistance 
in  clothing  and  money  being  given  according  to  available 
resources.  The  Ladies'  Sanitary  Association  in  Dublin 
undertakes  to  interest  poor  women  in  keeping  their  homes 
clean  and  neat,  and  to  help  them  in  this  difficult  matter  by 
procuring  soap  and  other  necessaries  for  them  at  a  very  low 
price.  Miss  Reeves,  who  has  been  for  years  active  in  this 
excellent  work,  has  stated  at  a  meeting  of  ladies  that  her 

Philanthropic   Work  in  Ireland.  239 

experience  led  her  to  wonder  how  the  people  can  be  so  clean 
as  they  are,  rather  than  to  condemn  them  for  indifference 
to  cleanliness.  Considering  that  soap  costs  money  where 
children  are  hungry,  and  remembering  the  labour  of  carrying 
water  in  pailfuls  to  rooms  in  the  top  of  wretched  tenement 
houses,  we  must  forbear  from  unkind  criticism  of  the  habits 
of  the  poor.  The  women  who  hang  their  clothes  to  dry 
on  poles  out  of  high  windows,  or  lie  down  with  their  families 
to  sleep  at  night  in  the  steam  of  garments  drying  around 
them,  have  far  more  patience  and  resolution  than  we  should 
have  under  the  same  circumstances.  "  I  have  known  a  poor 
woman,"  said  Miss  Reeves,  "who  would  spend  the  hours 
allotted  for  sleep,  furtively  drying  her  washing  of  clothes  in 
a  yard  where  she  was  a  trespasser,  making  use  of  lines  which 
were  occupied  by  the  owner  of  the  place  from  early  morning 
until  late  into  the  night." 

The  work  of  women  in  hospitals  is  too  large  a  subject  to 
be  satisfactorily  treated  in  a  short  paper.  There  are,  how- 
ever, three  hospitals  in  Dublin  which  owe  their  existence 
entirely  to  women,  and  are  carried  on  by  their  exertions. 
One,  known  as  the  Mater  Misericordiae,  has  been  founded,  and 
is  managed,  and  tended  by  the  Sisters  of  Mercy,  who  support 
it  altogether  by  voluntary  contributions.  It  is  by  far  the 
largest  general  hospital  in  Dublin,  containing  323  beds. 
In  1866  it  was  mentioned  by  Dr.  Bristowe,  in  his  report 
to  Government  on  the  hospitals  of  the  United  Kingdom, 
as  "promising  to  be  one  of  the  finest  hospitals  in  Europe." 
This  promise  has  already  been  fulfilled.  The  hospital  is  of 
great  size,  and  built  on  the  corridor  plan.  The  report  of  the 
Dublin  Hospitals  Commission  of  1887  states:  "As  regards 
site,  extent,  and  architectural  design,  it  has  no  rival."  During 
the  cholera  of  1886,  the  hospital  was  open  for  patients  at  all 
hours,  and  the  Sisters  of  Mercy  were  the  only  nurses.  During 
the  two  epidemics  of  small-pox,  over  1200  cases  were  treated. 
In  1891,  3512  patients  were  admitted,  and  the  mortality  was 
very  small.  Extensive  dispensaries  in  connection  with  the 
hospital  are  open  every  day,  and  a  large  training-school  for 
nurses  has  recently  been  established.  The  sick  poor  are 
admitted  without  distinction  of  creed,  and  clergymen  of  all 
denominations  have  free  access  to  their  co-religionists.  The 

240  Woman  s  Mission. 

Sisters  of  Mercy  take  nothing  whatever  for  their  own  main- 
tenance and  services  from  the  funds  of  the  establishment,  so 
that  all  contributions  are  applied  entirely  for  the  support  of 
the  patients.  The  addition  of  a  special  fever  wing  to  the 
hospital  is  in  contemplation. 

On  the  same  plan,  but  of  smaller  proportions,  is  St. 
Vincent's  Hospital  in  St.  Stephen's  Green,  founded  and 
tended  by  the  Sisters  of  Charity. 

The  Children's  Hospital  in  Upper  Temple  Street,  Dublin, 
is  also  in  the  care  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  but  was  instituted 
by  the  late  Mrs.  Ellen  Woodlock.  For  some  years  Mrs. 
Woodlock  carried  it  on  with  the  assistance  of  a  band  of 
young  ladies,  who  visited  and  assisted  in  nursing  the  children. 
A  brigade  of  little  boys  and  girls  who  saved  their  pocket- 
money  for  the  charity,  and  interested  themselves  in  the 
patients,  formed  a  special  feature  of  the  work  under  her 
management.  The  hospital  has  cured  and  sent  forth  every 
year  since  its  opening  a  large  number  of  children  who  were 
carried  in  maimed  and  diseased,  and  many  who  lay  in  the 
little  beds  with  crooked  limbs  and  twisted  feet  are  now 
strong  men  and  women,  taking  an  active  part  in  the  world. 
Mrs.  Woodlock  was  a  true  philanthropist,  and  in  the  early 
days  of  our  poor  laws  did  a  noble  work  in  taking  poor  girls 
out  of  the  union  schools  and  placing  them  in  positions  to 
acquire  independence.  Together  with  Mrs.  Sarah  Atkinson, 
she  with  great  difficulty  effected  an  opening  for  lady  visitors 
into  the  dismal  interior  of  the  South  Dublin  Union  Work- 
house. Here  they  devoted  their  attention  chiefly  to  a 
number  of  young  women,  who  had  been  born  in  the  house, 
and,  in  the  absence  of  training  and  human  sympathy, 
had  grown  up  so  wild  and  unruly  that  sometimes  they 
could  only  be  controlled  by  force  and  the  punishment  of 
solitary  confinement.  These  apparently  intractable  young 
women  were  first  softened  by  affectionate  personal  kindness 
and  religious  influence,  and  then  placed  by  Mrs.  Woodlock 
and  Mrs.  Atkinson  in  an  industrial  school  and  home  which 
the  ladies  had  established.  There  the  girls  eventually 
developed  into  clever  and  industrious  persons,  many  of  whom 
are  now  worthily  filling  posts  of  trust  in  different  quarters 
of  the  globe.  This  was  before  the  day  of  Government  grants, 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  241 

and  after  struggling  for  some  years  to  maintain  its  position 
the  good  work  was  reluctantly  relinquished  for  want  of 
financial  support. 

An  admirable  undertaking  was  initiated  in  1892,  in 
Londonderry,  by  Mrs.  Ward  Poole,  representative  of  the 
British  Women's  Temperance  Association.  The  ladies  of 
this  society  interest  themselves  in  the  women  of  the  working 
class,  whom  they  influence  to  take  and  keep  a  pledge 
against  inebriating  drinks.  Weekly  or  fortnightly  meetings 
in  cottages  are  held  in  different  parts  of  the  town.  The 
society  is  happy  in  its  choice  of  a  secretary,  Miss  Thompson, 
who  devotes  herself  to  the  work  and  has  gained  the  sympathy 
of  the  people.  This  is  an  enterprise  well  suited  to  women 
of  benevolence  and  refinement,  who  by  personal  sympathy 
may  save  their  poor  sisters  from  the  sin  and  degradation  of 
intemperance.  Individual  efforts  have  here  and  there  been 
made  with  very  fortunate  results,  and  it  is  a  pity  that  the 
work  is  not  undertaken  all  over  the  country  by  women, 
single-handed,  or  in  groups  of  even  two  and  three.  The 
village  of  Ardmore,  County  Waterford,  has  undergone  a 
remarkable  change  through  the  efforts  of  Mrs.  Barry,  who  a 
few  years  ago  succeeded  in  enlisting  the  fishermen  of  the 
neighbourhood  in  a  local  temperance-league.  Above  the 
reefs  of  steep  rock  overhanging  the  green  ocean,  and  forming 
a  small  creek  where  the  boats  go  out  and  come  in,  stands  the 
modest  Temperance-hall,  of  cottage  form,  where  the  men 
read  the  newspapers  and  drink  hot  coffee  in  preference  to, 
alcoholic  stimulants.  The  story  of  Mrs.  Barry's  work  is  a 
very  simple  one.  Inspired  by  the  ideal  beauty  of  the  place^ 
and  the  interesting  character  of  the  people,  she  desired  to  do 
good,  and  began  by  getting  possession  of  a  large  barn  where 
she  provided  newspapers  and  a  fire,  and  where  she  herself 
sat  with  the  fishermen  in  the  evenings,  chatting  with  them 
over  their  affairs  and  the  news  of  the  day.  The  result  is  the 
extraordinary  temperance  of  Ardmore. 

The  good  work  known  as  the  penny  dinners  is  prosper- 
ing in  Dublin  and  Cork,  under  the  care  of  ladies  of  every 
denomination.  Four  establishments  at  work  in  Dublin,  are 
gratefully  frequented  by  the  classes  for  which  they  were 
designed.  The  dining-rooms  are  situated  in  lanes,  in  popu- 


2  4  2  Woman  s  Mission. 

lous  neighbourhoods,  and  are  generally  the  back  premises 
of  a  large  house  altered  and  fitted  to  their  present  require- 
ments. Each  consists  of  a  kitchen  with  bright  kettles  and 
caldrons,  presided  over  by  a  man  and  his  wife  who  live  on 
the  spot,  and  an  eating-room  with  benches  and  tables,  white 
walls  decorated  with  pictures,  and  neatly  sanded  floor.  The 
dinners  are  attended  by  the  ladies  as  waitresses,  and  the 
food  is  varied  according  to  the  days  of  the  week.  Irish  stew 
and  bread,  soups  with  meat  and  bread,  bacon  and  cabbage 
and  potatoes,  fish  and  potatoes,  pea-soup  and  bread,  succeed 
each  other  in  rotation.  Coffee  with  bread  and  marmalade 
can  be  had  for  an  extra  halfpenny.  The  hours  are  from 
twelve  till  four  o'clock,  and  persons  wishing  to  take  home 
the  dinners  can  do  so.  The  pennies  paid  for  dinners 
cover  the  price  of  food,  assisted  by  presents  of  provisions 
from  well-wishers  and  the  generosity  of  trades-people.  A 
sum  of  .£50  a  year  must  be  found  by  the  promoters  for 
rent,  for  the  wages  of  man  and  wife  who  act  as  cooks,  care- 
takers, and  general  working  managers  on  the  premises,  for 
fuel,  and  other  incidental  expenses.  In  some  places  the 
dinners  are  given  only  during  a  certain  season,  because  in 
summer  there  is  a  migration  to  country  parts  of  the  wander- 
ing poor — hurdy-gurdy  players, basket-hawkers,  ballad-singers, 
whose  avocations  lead  them  away  from  the  city,  by  green 
roads  and  dusty  highways,  in  search  of  "  fresh  woods  and 
pastures  new  "  as  the  scenes  of  their  labours.  At  Verschoyle 
Court,  Dublin,  the  doors  are  never  closed,  winter  or  summer, 
and  the  attendance  is  steady  by  day  and  by  month,  though 
the  place  is  very  seldom  overcrowded.  "  We  have  our  regular 
customers,"  says  the  nice  young  woman  who  presides  over 
the  caldrons,  as  she  takes  up  a  ladleful  of  savoury  stew. 
"  That  old  gentleman,"  she  adds,  "  is  as  regular  as  the  clock." 
The  old  gentleman  in  question  is  a  superannuated  butler, 
who,  having  fallen  upon  old  age  and  bad  health,  is  glad  to 
find  here  something  resembling  the  comfortable  meal  to 
which  he  had  been  once  accustomed.  He  looks  pale  and 
half-starved,  for  even  a  penny  dinner  a  day  is  not  sumptuous 
faring  ;  but  his  shabby  black  clothing  and  spotless  neckcloth 
are  as  carefully  put  on  as  though  he  had  prepared  to  serve 
behind  his  master's  chair  at  a  far  different  dinner-table  than 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  243 

this.  At  another  table  are  two  labourers  of  the  order  who 
stand  all  the  day  idle  because  no  man  has  hired  them,  and, 
from  their  hungry  and  crestfallen  air,  one  feels  afraid  that  it 
would  take  much  more  than  the  proffered  pennyworth  of 
dinner  to  satisfy  their  patient  unsatisfiedness.  Near  them  is 
a  group  of  newspaper-sellers  and  lads  in  search  of  work.  At 
Gloucester  Street  the  latter  class  is  most  largely  represented  ; 
and  whereas  there  are  shoes,  however  broken,  at  Verschoyle 
Court,  there  are  few  to  be  seen  at  Hill  Street  or  Loftus  Lane. 
At  Kevin  Street  the  premises  and  attendance  are  largest. 
The  poor  are  perhaps  at  their  poorest  in  Loftus  Lane.  Ex- 
cellent order  is  kept,  however,  and  general  good  humour 
prevails,  though  too  much  hilarity  is  not  encouraged  by  the 
managers.  The  little  fish-selling  girls  and  newspaper  boys, 
well  acquainted  with  each  other  out-of-doors,  meet  frequently 
at  the  penny-dinner  table,  and  their  experience  of  life,  their 
knowledge  of  race-courses  and  all  kind  of  open-air  meetings, 
their  good  luck  and  bad  luck,  their  amusements,  pains,  and 
inconveniences,  are  all  poured  out  freely  to  the  stranger  who 
is  sympathetic  enough  to  replenish  their  empty  coffee-cans 
without  waiting  to  be  invited.  One  bright  lad  of  fifteen 
confides  his  anxiety  to  give  up  newspaper-selling  and  get 
regular  work.  "  I  could  get  work,"  he  explains,  "  if  I  had 
any  one  to  give  me  a  character."  He  seems  to  think,  poor 
boy,  that  one  could  give  him  a  character  as  easily  as  a  piece 
of  bread  and  jam.  The  cry  heard  everywhere  among  these 
half-starved  creatures  is  a  cry  for  work  ;  and  how,  in  this  hard 
world,  are  they  all  to  find  an  answer  to  it? 

Another  very  noble  and  interesting  branch  of  women's 
philanthropic  work,  and  one  well  represented  in  Ireland, 
is  that  which  deals  with  the  moral,  social,  and  spiritual  welfare 
of  girls,  and  of  young  women  who  are  already  able  to  take 
a  part  in  the  world,  and  whose  lives  are  brightened  and 
fortunes  influenced  by  the  sisterly  and  motherly  care  and 
sympathy  of  women  whom  Providence  has  placed  in  a 
higher  position.  Of  such  is  the  Girls'  Friendly  Society, 
founded  by  the  Dowager  Countess  of  Meath,  for  "girls  of 
all  stations."  The  objects  are  "the  spiritual,  moral,  and 
social  elevation  of  women,  by  enrolling  them  together  in 
a  society  which  gives  noble  aims,  and  which  excites  and 

244  Woman  s  Mission. 

satisfies  their  enthusiasm,  and  provides  them  with  friends, 
who,  in  difficult  and  trying  positions,  may  help  them  to  stand 
firm  and  true  to  the  baptismal  promises  made  for  them,  to- 
be  Christ's  faithful  soldiers  and  servants  to  their  life's  end." 
The  intentions  are :  I.  To  bind  together  in  one  society 
ladies  as  associates,  and  girls  and  young  women  as  members, 
for  mutual  help  (religious  and  secular),  for  sympathy  and 
prayer.  2.  To  encourage  purity  of  life,  dutifulness  to  parents, 
faithfulness  to  employers,  temperance  and  thrift.  3.  To  pro- 
vide the  privileges  of  the  society  for  its  members,  wherever  they 
may  be,  by  giving  them  an  introduction  from  one  branch  to 
another.  The  useful  works  of  this  society  are  :  obtaining  situa- 
tions for  servants ;  taking  care  of  emigrants,  a  home  being 
provided  for  the  latter  at  Derry ;  lodges  and  recreation-rooms 
where  young  women  in  business  can  live  moderately  and 
where  evening  classes  are  held  ;  and  an  attempt  is  made  to 
provide  wholesome  literature.  Of  late  a  department  for  the 
deaf  and  dumb  has  been  opened.  The  society  numbers 
9862  members,  and,  including  candidates  and  helpers, 
reckons  14,613  souls  who  are  working  for  the  society  in 
Ireland.  Writing  from  the  branch  in  Derry,  Miss  Alexander 
says,  "  The  society  does  not  go  down  into  the  deep  tragedies 
of  life,  or  rise  to  any  heights  of  imagination  and  sentiment ; 
it  is  intended  for  the  even  and  sometimes  uninteresting  high- 
road of  the  commonplace.  As  the  member  toils  along  every 
day  she  is  provided  with  a  friend  to  sustain  her  when  she 
is  weary,  to  encourage  her  when  she  stumbles,  to  help  her 
to  gather  what  flowers  she  may  by  the  roadside,  and  to  warn 
her  not  to  stray  to  the  right  hand  or  to  the  left  into  pleasant 
fields  or  alluring  shades." 

Very  like  the  above  society  is  the  Young  Women's 
Christian  Association,  in  the  diocese  of  Derry  and  Raphoe 
numbering  five  hundred  and  ten  members. 

The  sodalities  of  the  "Children  of  Mary"  attached  to 
every  church  and  convent  of  the  religious  orders  in  Ireland 
have  in  many  particulars  the  same  aims  and  objects  as  the 
societies  just  described.  The  members  are  assisted  by  each 
other,  those  of  better  station  helping  their  lowlier  sisters  to 
lead  lives  higher  and  holier  than  ordinary,  and  all  sharing, 
in  prayers  and  pious  practices  prescribed  by  the  rules. 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  245 

Circulating  libraries  are  attached  to  the  meeting-places  of 
these  sodalities,  and  ladies  strive  to  procure  for  the  readers 
a  supply  of  wholesome  and  pleasant  as  well  as  solid  and 
edifying  literature,  which  they  may  take  to  their  homes, 
usually  for  the  subscription  of  one  halfpenny  per  week.  Even 
apart  from  religious  influences,  there  is  no  doubt  such  asso- 
ciations work  incalculable  good.  Many  young  women,  toiling 
from  year  to  year  in  shops  and  warehouses,  lead  lives  of 
piety  and  mental  refinement,  encouraged  by  intercourse  with 
educated  and  high-minded  ladies  who  are  interested  in  their 
daily  trials.  On  the  other  hand,  the  ladies  often  gain  much 
by  the  example  of  patience  and  fortitude  unconsciously  put 
before  them  by  these  humbler  sisters  who  look  up  to  them. 

There  is  a  class  of  good  work  by  women  which  may  be 
called  pleasant  help,  not  concerned  with  either  industrial 
effort  or  the  administration  of  actual  charity,  but  which  is  a 
great  sweetener  of  life  to  the  struggling  and  labouring  poor. 
Of  this  class  is  the  Gardening  Society  of  Culmore,  started 
sixteen  years  ago  by  Mrs.  Stack,  wife  of  the  then  rector. 
The  gardening  is  done  in  the  cottages  rather  than  outside, 
as,  we  are  told,  not  more  than  one  in  three  of  the  cottages 
possesses  a  garden,  though  the  inmates  all  desire  one.  The 
cottagers  are  encouraged  to  neatness  within  their  homes,  and 
the  culture  of  flowers,  for  which  they  receive  prizes.  A  show 
held  once  a  year,  in  July,  is  the  occasion  of  much  pleasure. 
The  society  gives  prizes  for  flowers,  neat  houses,  sewing,  knit- 
ting, butter-making,  all  sorts  of  women's  work ;  while  the 
boys  compete  in  mat-weaving,  basket-making,  boat-modelling. 

Another  pleasant  help  is  the  Girls'  Evening  Home,  London- 
derry, where  over  a  hundred  girls,  employed  in  factories  or 
elsewhere,  meet  to  spend  their  evenings  in  the  company  of 
one  or  more  of  the  ladies  interested  in  the  work.  With  music, 
games,  needlework,  and  instruction  in  reading  and  writing,  if 
desired,  the  evenings  are  made  delightful  after  the  mono- 
tonous work  of  the  day.  A  library  and  temperance  society 
are  attached  to  the  association.  There  is  an  annual  "  tea," 
and  occasional  instructive  and  interesting  "  talks  "  are  given 
by  outside  friends. 

Other  such  helps  are  the  Turkish  Bath  and  Home  for 
patients  of  the  poorer  classes  at  St.  Ann's  Hill,  County  Cork, 

246  Womaris  Mission. 

and  the  Refreshment  Rooms  started  at  Athboy  and  Enfield  by 
Mrs.  Penrose  and  Miss  Fowler,  where  on  fair  days  they  attend 
personally  and  serve  out  cold  meat,  tea,  and  coffee  at  eight- 
pence  a  head,  or  fourpence  for  a  large  sandwich,  to  farmers 
who  have  come  a  long  distance  before  breakfast.  This  is  an 
excellent  idea,  for  under  such  circumstances  it  is  very  difficult 
for  the  farmers  to  get  proper  food,  strong  drink  being  usually 
the  only  substitute. 

In  other  parts  of  the  County  Meath,  ladies  are  equally 
helpful.  Mrs.  Brownlow  is  interested  in  the  stone-cutters 
in  a  quarry  near  her,  and  cultivates  artistic  ideas  among 
them,  by  procuring  patterns  and  designs  for  their  work. 
Lady  Adelaide  Taylour  has  two  classes  for  wood-carving, 
while  Mrs.  Roth  well  and  other  ladies  manage  a  county  store, 
where  the  poor  may  procure  good  provisions  at  a  cheaper 
rate  than  in  the  shops. 

An  industrial  exhibition  is  to  be  held  in  Kells,  in  1893, 
to  encourage  work,  for  amusement  as  well  as  profit,  in 
the  cottagers'  winter  evenings.  In  Cork,  a  flower-mission 
brightens  the  lot  of  the  inmates  of  the  hospitals  and 
asylums,  and  a  "  creche "  assists  poor  mothers  who,  being 
obliged  to  go  out  to  work,  are  glad  to  pay  a  penny  a  day  for 
the  care  of  each  child  in  their  absence.  In  Cork,  also,  1500 
women  of  the  League  of  the  Cross  are  visited  in  the  lanes 
each  week,  by  sixty  ladies,  who  take  an  interest  in  their 
welfare,  and  assist  them  to  improve  in  the  matter  of  order 
and  cleanliness  in  their  homes. 

In  conclusion,  I  will  say  a  few  words  of  a  charity  origi- 
nated by  a  woman,  and  carried  on  in  truly  heroic  spirit  by 
the  Sisters  of  Charity  at  Harold's  Cross,  Dublin.  It  is  not 
a  hospital,  for  no  one  comes  here  expecting  to  be  cured,  nor 
is  it  a  home  for  incurables,  as  the  patients  do  not  look 
forward  to  spending  years  in  the  place.  It  is  simply  a 
"  hospice,"  where  those  are  received  who  have  very  soon  to 
die,  and  who  know  not  where  to  lay  their  weary  heads.  The 
low,  red-tiled  passages  and  corridors  of  the  old  house  have 
suggestions  under  their  broad-beamed  roof,  quite  unlike  Mr. 
Henley's  abode  of  suffering — 

"  Cold,  naked,  clean,  half-workhouse  and  half-jail." 

Philanthropic  Work  in  Ireland.  247 

Walking  through  the  pleasantly  coloured  wards  and 
rooms,  one  cannot  but  think  that  any  creature  might  desire 
the  boon  of  dying  here ;  but  the  Irish  poor,  whose  spiritual 
yearnings  are  so  intense,  and  who  are  in  this  place  surrounded 
by  religious  consolations,  find  in  it  a  foretaste  of  heaven.  "  I 
had  been,"  says  a  visitor  to  the  hospice,  "  for  some  minutes 
kneeling  in  the  beautiful  mortuary  chapel,  where  fresh 
flowers  are  always  blooming,  before  I  perceived  two  figures 
extended  on  marble  rests  on  either  side  of  the  altar,  as  the 
effigies  lie  that  have  lain  so  for  centuries.  Yet  no  sculpture 
ever  possessed  the  beauty  and  sweetness  of  the  figures  I  here 
saw  :  a  man  in  the  full  maturity  of  youth,  with  dark  hair  and 
brown  beard  and  handsome  stately  features  ;  a  little  girl, 
whose  deep-fringed  eyelids  were  closed  over  eyes  that  shone 
blue  through  the  covering.  Both  had  the  same  ineffable 
smile  on  their  features,  the  look  of  having  learned  the  secret 
of  happiness,  and  of  knowing  themselves  safe  with  God."  A 
charity  which  concerns  itself  with  the  dying  appeals  almost 
more  than  any  other  to  the  naked  human  heart — the  heart 
of  man  stripped  of  all  its  conventional  surroundings,  and 
surprised  behind  all  its  barricades.  Living  poverty  and 
suffering  may  be  kept  out  of  sight,  but  death  comes  to  all, 
and  no  one  can  feel  sure  of  what  his  circumstances  and 
needs  will  be  in  his  own  supreme  hour.  Sympathy  that 
springs  from  a  touch  of  nature  that  makes  the  whole  world 
kin  is  shown  by  the  gifts  that  drop  in  to  help  this  completely 
foundationless,  and,  in  one  sense,  unprovided  charity,  which 
looks  for  its  manna  direct  from  the  heavens.  Bequests  from 
those  who,  in  the  straits  of  their  own  soul's  passage,  re- 
member this  pathetic  labour  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  help 
occasionally,  like  the  back-reaching  of  friendly  hands ;  and 
the  poor  themselves  often  contribute  a  mite  to  the  work, 
feeling  that  should  destitution  overtake  them  in  the  end, 
they  may  yet  hope  to  lie  in  the  Nuns'  Chapel  before  the 
earth  receives  them  ; — ere  Nature  begins  to  weave  her  veils 
of  grass  and  dew  over  the  weary  heart's  indisturbable 

248  Woman's  Mission. 


BY  Miss  E.  S.  LIDGETT. 

IN  writing  of  the  work  of  women  as  Guardians  of.  the  Poor, 
I  have  not  tried  to  cover  the  whole  ground  of  the  poor  law. 
I  do  not  speak  of  large  reforms  now  being  generally  dis- 
cussed, neither  do  I  limit  myself  to  the  average  working  of 
the  present  law  without  the  leaven  of  new  ideas.  But  I 
propose  to  speak  especially  of  those  parts  of  poor  law 
administration  where  the  work  of  women  as  guardians  has 
already  made  itself  distinctly  felt.  Under  some  headings 
I  tell  of  improvements  that  have  passed  beyond  the  stage 
of  experiment,  but  have  not  yet  come  into  common  practice. 
Every  year  sees  a  wider  adoption  of  improvements  formerly 
considered  beyond  the  scope  of  the  poor  law,  and  a  generally 
awakened  interest  in  these  subjects  will  doubtless  give  many 
a  wholesome  spur  to  the  movements  of  Boards  of  Guardians. 
If  the  whole  story  were  told,  it  would  be  seen  that  quite 
a  revolution  has  been  effected  in  workhouse  management 
since  Miss  Twining's  first  visit  to  a  London  workhouse  in 
February,  1853,  when  her  proposal  to  arrange  systematic 
visiting  by  ladies  was  treated  as  a  dangerous  intrusion  by 
Boards  of  Guardians  and  by  the  Central  Poor-law  Board 
alike.  It  is  by  a  happy  coincidence  that  just  forty  years 
after  that  first  visit,  a  general  order  has  been  sent  by  the 
Local  Government  Board  to  all  Boards  of  Guardians, 
authorizing  them  to  appoint  ladies,  whether  members  of 
the  Board  of  Guardians  or  not,  whose  duty  it  shall  be  to 
visit  and  examine  the  parts  of  the  workhouse  in  which 
women  or  children  are  maintained,  and  to  report  any  matters 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  249 

that  may  appear  to  them  as  requiring  the  attention  of  the 
guardians.  During  the  forty  years  many  Boards  of  Guardians 
have  sanctioned  visiting  committees  of  ladies,  although  on 
many  others  the  old  official  jealousy  has  continued  to  dis- 
courage and  hinder  their  work.  It  will  be  found  an  advantage 
to  have  it  placed  on  a  firm  and  recognized  footing  everywhere, 
though  it  would  be  no  less  than  a  disaster  if  the  good  were 
to  become  the  enemy  of  the  best,  and  to  hinder  the  election 
of  women  as  guardians.  That  such  an  effect  was  contem- 
plated in  the  order,  no  one  will  believe  who  remembers  the 
words  lately  spoken  by  the  President  of  the  Local  Govern- 
ment Board,  the  Right  Hon.  H.  H.  Fowler,  M.P.,  when  he 
said  that  he  considered  the  constitution  of  any  Board  of 
Guardians  defective  that  did  not  contain  at  least  one  woman 
among  its  members. 

Another  order  has  been  received  at  the  same  time,  "em- 
powering individual  guardians  to  visit  and  examine  any 
part  of  any  workhouse  of  the  union  or  parish  of  which  he 
is  a  guardian.".  This  order  could  not  be  better  explained 
than  by  quoting  from  an  article  by  Miss  Twining,  written 
in  June,  1888.  "It  has  been  a  matter  of  astonishment  to 
many  to  discover,  when  elected,  that  they  are  not  free  to 
enter  the  buildings  at  any  time,  under  any  circumstances. 
Where  a  good  understanding  exists  between  the  officials  and 
the  guardians,  to  whom  they  look  for  direction,  such  permis- 
sion and  freedom  will  no  doubt  always  be  granted ;  but  it  is 
evident  that  precisely  in  those  cases  where  inspection  is  most 
needed,  there  it  would  be  resented,  and  probably  refused,  as 
we  have  known  to  be  the  case."  This  anomaly  is  now  re- 
moved. Every  true  guardian,  and  every  inmate  will  welcome 
the  change,  and  no  faithful  officer  will  be  afraid  of  daylight. 

The  great  drink  question  may  appear  to  have  been 
avoided.  It  really  underlies  the  whole  subject,  causing 
directly  and  indirectly  at  least  seventy-five  per  cent,  of  the 
pauperism  of  the  country.  To  speak  of  it  adequately  would 
take  a  paper  to  itself.  No  guardian  could  reflect  steadily  on 
the  increasing  number  of  lunatics,  imbeciles,  idiots,  epileptics, 
feeble-minded,  of  men  and  women  incapable  of  continued 
exertion,  not  to  mention  the  strong  and  hardworking  whose 
wages  are  squandered  as  soon  as  earned — no  woman,  at  least, 

-5°  Woman's  Mission. 

could  reckon  up  all  that  she  knows  as  a  guardian,  and  then 
write  of  it  without  exposing  herself  to  the  charge  of  in- 
temperate temperance. 

In  the  year  1832  a  Royal  Commission  was  appointed  to 
inquire  into  the  working  of  the  old  poor  law,  and  the  con- 
dition of  the  people  affected  by  it.  The  report  of  the  Com- 
missioners, a  work  of  deep  interest,  was  published  in  1834, 
and  a  great  reform  of  the  law  was  then  made.  It  was  worked 
at  first  experimentally,  under  the  supervision  of  the  Commis- 
sioners, who  remained  in  office  until  1847,  when  they  collected 
in  a  general  consolidated  order  the  most  important  of  the 
general  regulations  which  they  had  issued.  "The  General 
Order  of  July  24th,  1847,  which  for  the  most  part  is  still  in 
force,  embraces  the  whole  field  of  the  poor-law,  and  is,  next 
to  the  Act  of  1834,  the  foundation  of  the  present  system."  * 

There  is  now  one  central  authority,  the  Local  Government 
Board,  which  is  for  some  purposes  supreme  over  Boards  of 
Guardians  all  over  the  country.  The  Local  Government 
Board's  consent  has  to  be  obtained  for  the  construction  of 
new  buildings,  the  appointment  of  officers,  for  alterations  in 
salaries,  and  for  alterations  in  diet  There  is  a  uniform  system 
of  accounts,  which  are  audited  by  auditors  from  the  Local 
Government  Board.  At  first  sight  it  would  appear  that,  with 
so  much  interference  by  a  central  authority,  there  was  little 
left  for  Boards  of  Guardians  to  do.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the 
improvements  of  administration  that  follow  on  the  election  of 
an  improved  Board  are  so  great  that  it  might  be  supposed 
that  a  change  had  taken  place  in  the  law  itself.  The  central 
control,  while  not  strong  enough  to  ensure  good  working,  yet 
certainly  prevents  many  abuses,  and  guarantees  a  certain 
average  of  fair  administration. 

In  the  report  of  the  Poor  Law  Commissioners  for  1834,  a 
long  and  dreary  story  of  every  vagary  of  waste  and  demorali- 
zation into  which  human  stupidity  could  wander,  there  is  one 
bright  page,  which  records  the  labours  of  a  voluntary  com- 
mittee of  ladies  appointed  by  the  Gravesend  Board  of  Guar- 
dians to  reform  and  superintend  the  management  of  their 
workhouse.  The  success  of  this  piece  of  work  did  not  suggest, 

*  "  English  Poor-law  System."    Aschrott  and  Preston-Thomas. 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  251 

as  it  might,  the  desirability  of  electing  women  to  the  Board 
of  Guardians.  It  was  not  until  women  had  been  elected 
on  School  Boards,  in  1870,  that  any  woman  was  nominated 
as  guardian  of  the  poor.  The  first  was  Miss  Merington, 
elected  for  Kensington  in  1875.  The  movement  to  promote 
the  election  of  women  has  grown  steadily  from  that  time  to 
this,  and  there  are  now  one  hundred  and  thirty-five,  a  mere 
handful  compared  with  the  number  of  men  elected,  but  quite 
enough  to  show  what  may  be  expected.  There  are  also  five 
women  on  the  Metropolitan  Asylums  Board,  a  Board  com- 
posed for  the  most  part  of  representative  members  elected 
from  the  Metropolitan  Boards  of  Guardians. 

The  work  of  guardians  divides  itself  broadly  into  the 
administration  of  outdoor  and  indoor  relief,  including  the 
care  of  the  sick  and  aged  and  of  children,  and  the  treatment 
of  the  able-bodied,  in  the  infirmary,  the  schools,  and  the 
workhouse  belonging  to  the  parish  or  union. 

It  is  the  business  of  the  relieving  officer  to  satisfy  himself 
first  that  an  applicant  for  relief  is  in  real  need  ;  and  if  the 
need  is  urgent,  he  must  give  food  immediately.  He  must 
also  make  sure  that  the  applicant  has  a  claim  on  the  parish 
where  he  applies,  and  must  find,  if  possible,  the  children, 
parents,  or  grandparents,  who  may  be  called  upon  for  main- 
tenance. Similar  inquiries  must  be  made  in  the  case  of  a 
deserted  wife.  Where  such  maintenance  is  wilfully  refused 
or  neglected,  the  guardians  take  legal  proceedings  to  obtain 
it.  In  the  mean  time  they  charge  themselves  with  the  care  of 
the  destitute  person.  They  may  not,  as  a  rule,  give  outdoor 
relief  to  able-bodied  men  or  women.  Relief  given  to  them, 
except  in  special  emergencies,  is  given  in  the  workhouse. 
As  to  aged  and  infirm  people,  and  the  children  of  widows, 
considerable  discretion  is  allowed  whether  to  give  weekly 
allowances  or  indoor  relief  in  the  workhouse,  the  infirmary, 
or  the  schools. 

The  workhouse  may  be  called  the  receiving  house.  There 
the  inmates  are  classified  and  separated  according  to  their 
sex,  age,  state  of  health,  and,  to  a  certain  extent,  according 
to  character.  It  is  the  duty  of  the  master  or  matron  to  find 
suitable  employment  for  every  one  at  all  able  to  work. 
People  of  industrious  habits,  even  bed-ridden  women,  gladly 

252  Woman  s  Mission. 

perform  their  tasks,  as  they  say  "it  helps  to  pass  the  time 
away."  The  idle  and  vicious  are  given  the  most  laborious 
work,  except  when  the  medical  officer  certifies  that  they  are 
unable  to  do  it.  In  metropolitan  parishes,  lunatics,  idiots,  and 
most  imbeciles,  are  sent  away  to  asylums.  In  the  country, 
harmless  lunatics  and  idiots  are  still  kept  in  the  workhouse. 
The  acute  sick  in  large  towns  are  generally  sent  to  a  separate 
infirmary,  where  they  receive  medical  care  and  skilled  nursing. 
Children  are  not  permanently  kept  in  the  workhouses  in 
London  or  in  the  great  towns,  but  are  detained  only  until 
they  can  be  certified  as  thoroughly  clean  and  in  good  health. 
Of  course  their  parents,  if  they  have  any,  may  cease  to  be 
chargeable  to  the  rates,  and  they  will  then  remove  the 
children.  But  those  in  the  hands  of  the  guardians  will  be 
sent  away  to  separate  schools — the  children  of  Protestants 
to  the  parish  or  district  schools,  and  the  children  of  Roman 
Catholics  to  schools  managed  under  the  educational  autho- 
rities of  their  own  church.  In  country  parishes  children  are 
kept  in  the  workhouse,  but  are  generally  sent  to  the  nearest 
elementary  school,  like  other  children.  Orphans  and  deserted 
children,  over  two  years  and  under  ten  years  of  age,  are  by 
some  guardians  boarded  out  in  the  families  of  independent 
working  people  in  the  country,  under  the  supervision  of  local 
boarding-out  committees,  and  under  the  general  control  of 
the  Local  Government  Board. 

From  this  short  description  of  the  classes  of  people  dealt 
with  by  the  guardians,  it  must  be  evident  that  there  is  plenty 
of  scope  for  the  special  work  of  women.  Before  women  were 
elected  as  guardians,  many  alleviations  were  brought  within 
reach  of  the  aged  and  infirm  through  the  visits  of  ladies,  who 
would  lend  them  books,  read  to  them  or  talk  with  them,  and 
care  for  their  comforts  as  far  as  they  could  while  observing 
the  discipline  of  the  workhouse.  This  kind  of  visiting  has 
been  well  described  in  a  report  by  Mrs.  Rose  on  "  Lady 
Visitors  to  Workhouses,"  and  it  goes  on  to  the  present  time. 
Other  visitors  turned  their  attention  to  the  young  women  and 
girls  in  the  workhouse,  and  by  charitable  effort  encouraged 
and  enabled  those  who  were  well  disposed  to  start  out  again 
into  the  world,  and  to  maintain  themselves  by  honest  work. 
In  the  course  of  their  visiting  they  must  often  have  wished 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  253 

for  improved  Boards  of  Guardians,  and  they  greatly  helped 
forward  the  movement  for  electing  women  when  once  it  had 

But  one  most  important  advance  in  workhouse  man- 
agement was  made  ten  years  before  the  first  woman  was 
elected.  For  I  must  not  fail  to  speak  of  the  work  of  Agnes 
Jones,  begun  in  1865,  as  superintendent  of  the  Brownlow  Hill 
Workhouse  Infirmary,  Liverpool.  Formerly  the  nursing 
there,  as  elsewhere,  was  done  by  pauper  inmates.  Mr.  W. 
Rathbone  proposed  to  substitute  trained  paid  nurses  for  these 
worse  than  useless  women,  and  undertook  to  bear  all  the 
expense  connected  with  the  experiment  for  three  years,  by 
which  time  he  believed  the  success  of  the  scheme  would  have 
recommended  it  to  the  Board  of  Guardians,  and  it  would  be 
adopted  as  the  permanent  system.  Agnes  Jones,  a  thoroughly 
trained  and  disciplined  nurse,  entered  upon  her  duties  in  the 
spring  of  1865.  A  party  of  twelve  Nightingale  nurses  and 
seven  probationers  very  soon  joined  her,  and  the  work  began 
in  earnest  of  bringing  order,  light,  and  hope  into  that  great 
house  of  misery,  containing  more  than  a  thousand  sick  and 
infirm  persons,  beside  the  usual  varieties  of  able-bodied 
inmates  and  children.  At  the  end  of  two  years  the  experiment 
was  declared  so  completely  successful  that  the  Board  of 
Guardians  determined  to  adopt  the  system  as  a  permanent 
one.  Before  the  three  years  were  ended,  in  February,  1868, 
Agnes  Jones  succumbed  to  an  attack  of  fever,  worn  out  by 
her  long-continued  anxious  effort.  To  quote  the  words  of 
Miss  Florence  Nightingale,  "  She  lived  the  life  and  died  the 
death  of  the  saints  and  martyrs  ;  though  the  greatest  sinner 
would  not  have  been  more  surprised  than  she  to  have  heard 
this  said  of  herself.  In  less  than  three  years  she  had  reduced 
one  of  the  most  disorderly  hospital  populations  in  the  world 
to  something  like  Christian  discipline,  such  as  the  police 
themselves  wondered  at.  She  had  led,  so  as  to  be  of  one 
mind  and  heart  with  her,  upwards  of  fifty  nurses  and  proba- 
tioners ;  of  whom  the  faithful  few  she  took  with  her  of  our 
trained  nurses  were  but  a  seed.  She  had  converted  a  vestry 
to  the  conviction  of  the  economy  as  well  as  the  humanity  of 
nursing  pauper  sick  by  trained  nurses,  the  first  instance  of  the 
kind  in  England.  But  indeed  the  superstition  seems  now  to 

254  Woman  s  Mission. 

be  exploding,  that  to  neglect  sick  paupers  is  the  way  to  keep 
down  pauperism." 

The  Brownlow  Hill  Infirmary  is  now  a  kind  of  training- 
school  for  nurses,  who  go  from  thence  to  nurse  in  many 
of  the  infirmaries  of  the  north  of  England.  Many  more  of 
our  large  parish  infirmaries  have  of  late  years  been  brought 
up  to  the  level  of  hospitals  for  all  ordinary  illness.  In  the 
mean  time  the  Workhouse  Infirmary  Nursing  Association  has 
been  quietly  at  work  for  the  last  thirteen  years,  training  and 
sending  out  nurses  of  proved  character  to  infirmaries  all  over 
the  country.  They  supply  the  nursing  staffs  to  two  in- 
firmaries in  London  and  to  eight  in  various  country  unions. 
There  are  now  116  of  their  nurses  at  work  in  fifty-two 
workhouse  infirmaries.  These  numbers  certainly  are  small, 
and  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  they  may  greatly  increase;  but 
wherever  an  organized  society  trains  a  band  of  good 
workers  it  also  raises  the  standard  of  work  all  round 
them.  In  answer  to  an  application,  the  Local  Government 
Board  stated  not  long  ago  that  they  were  prepared  to 
sanction  without  further  inquiry  the  appointment  of  nurses 
recommended  by  the  Workhouse  Infirmary  Nursing  Asso- 

As  to  parish  infirmaries  generally,  the  Local  Government 
Board  Report  for  1892  says,  "We  are  glad  to  be  able  to  state 
that  the  character  of  the  arrangements  for  the  nursing  of  the 
sick  poor  in  workhouses  continues  to  improve  generally 
throughout  the  country,  both  as  regards  the  number  of  nurses 
employed  and  their  qualifications  for  the  office.  This  is  more 
especially  the  case  in  the  metropolis  and  some  of  the 
provincial  towns." 

In  the  year  1872  a  most  important  step  was  taken  by 
the  Right  Hon.  J.  Stansfeld,  M.P.,  then  President  of  the  Local 
Government  Board,  when  he  requested  the  late  Mrs.  Nassau 
Senior  to  undertake  the  work  in  which  she  spent  the  remain- 
der of  her  active  life,  namely,  to  organize  an  inquiry  as  to  the 
career  of  girls  brought  up  in  our  metropolitan  parish  and 
district  schools.  The  value  set  upon  her  labours  during  the 
year  of  her  first  appointment  was  such  that  she  was  per- 
manently appointed  Inspector  of  Workhouses  and  District 
Schools.  The  inquiry  was  in  fact  greatly  extended,  and  was 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.          255 

conducted  under  her  directions  by  ladies  in  many  parts  of  the 
country  with  a  view  also  of  gaining  evidence  as  to  the 
boarding-out  system.  After  completing  and  sifting  evidence 
most  laboriously  obtained,  it  was  found  that  fifty-three  per 
cent,  of  the  girls  trained  in  our  poor-law  schools  turned  out 
badly,  or  were  not  satisfactorily  accounted  for ;  that  they 
frequently  returned  to  the  workhouse ;  that  they  were  dis- 
honest, dirty,  sullen,  and  ignorant  of  the  common  things  of 
life.  The  news  was  disappointing,  almost  insulting  to  those 
who  had  taken  pride  in  the  large  and  costly  buildings  where 
these  children  had  grown  up,  where  guardians  had  made  visits 
of  state,  and  had  satisfied  themselves  that  the  children  were 
well  clothed  and  fed,  and  that  they  received  schooling  suitable 
to  their  class  and  station.  It  must  still  be  remembered  that 
these  large  district  schools  were  a  great  advance  on  the  old 
workhouse  schools  which  they  superseded. 

The  next  thing  to  do,  the  work  Mrs.  Senior  had  in  hand 
when  her  health  failed,  was  to  form  an  association  for  be- 
friending these  parish  girls  when  they  went  into  service. 
They  had  received  official  visits  from  the  chaplain  or  the 
relieving  officer  while  in  their  first  place.  Mrs.  Nassau 
Senior  proposed  to  substitute  for  the  official  visit  a  visit 
by  a  lady  friend,  a  friend  who  would  follow  a  girl  up  from 
one  situation  to  another  until  she  was  twenty.  The  girls 
were  not  to  go  out  as  paupers  or  parish  girls ;  they  were 
to  be  called  young  servants,  and  they  were  to  be  befriended, 
encouraged  into  self-respect,  good  temper,  obedience  and 
patience,  into  habits  of  cleanliness  and  thorough  work,  into 
thrift  and  independence. 

The  Metropolitan  Association  for  Befriending  Young  Ser- 
vants was  founded  in  1875,  the  same  year  as  the  Girls' 
Friendly  Society.*  In  addition  to  its  other  works,  the 
Girls'  Friendly  Society  cares  for  3657  girls  brought  up  in 
country  workhouses.  The  Metropolitan  Association  confines 
itself  generally  to  working  on  Mrs.  Senior's  lines  among  girls 
brought  up  in  the  London  poor-law  schools,  and  among  those 
of  the  same  class  outside  the  schools  whose  parents  cannot 
give  them  a  fairly  good  start  in  service.  The  total  number 

*  Mrs.  Nassau  Senior  joined  with  Mrs.  Townshend  in  founding  the  Girls' 
Friendly  Society. 

256  Woman  s  Mission. 

on  their  books  on  December  31,  1892,  was  8563,  including 
2593  brought  up  in  the  poor-law  schools. 

It  is  easy  to  give  figures  ;  it  is  impossible  to  give  an  idea 
in  few  words  of  the  mothering  care  given  to  these  poor,  lonely 
children  in  many  a  crisis  of  their  lives.  They  may  look  dull 
and  uninteresting,  but  the  great  war  between  good  and  evil 
is  as  fiercely  waged  in  them  as  in  others.  If  the  day  is  won, 
it  is  probably  owing  to  some  woman  who,  not  merely  as  the 
member  of  an  association,  but  as  a  mother  or  a  sister,  has 
wrestled  for  the  life  of  the  lonely,  ungoverned,  reckless  girl, 
and  has  helped  her  to  new  patience  and  new  hope. 

So  much  for  the  direct  work  of  this  association,  the  largest 
existing  charitable  society  having  direct  relations  with  a 
department  of  state,  and  whose  work  comes  into  the  annual 
report  of  the  Local  Government  Board. 

Perhaps  the  chief  indirect  work  has  been  through  the 
Boards  of  Guardians.  The  lady  guardians  especially  have 
laid  to  heart  all  the  reports  they  have  received  from  the 
Metropolitan  Association.  Our  great  schools  could  not  be 
destroyed.  Could  they  be  brightened  and  made  more 
human?  Step  by  step  we  have  moved  on  in  improving 
our  school-teaching,  beginning  with  the  kindergarten,  in 
encouraging  active  games,  in  making  all  possible  breaks  in 
the  monotonous  round  of  a  school  life  which  is  necessarily 
without  breakings  up  and  set  holidays.  We  have  also  given 
special  attention  to  the  industrial  training  of  girls  for  situations 
in  very  small  houses,  and  we  have  shortened  the  time  before 
sending  them  to  service.  At  first  sight  it  might  seem  better 
to  keep  our  girls  and  boys  until  they  were  sixteen,  as  the  law 
would  allow.  But  it  has  been  found  better  to  send  them  out 
before  they  settle  into  habits  of  dependence,  and  to  free  them 
from  the  pressure  of  large  numbers  all  round  them,  which  has 
a  stupefying  effect  if  long  continued.  Applications  are  received 
for  our  girls  from  mistresses.  After  inquiries  have  been  made 
as  to  the  suitability  of  a  situation,  if  the  guardians  are  satisfied 
they  inform  the  secretary  of  the  Metropolitan  Association  when 
the  girl  is  going,  and  she  arranges  for  a  lady  to  visit.  The 
best  mistress  for  one  of  these  girls  is  a  kind  and  motherly 
person  who  keeps  an  orderly  home  on  a  very  small  income, 
and  who  superintends  or  takes  part  in  all  the  work  of  her 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  257 

house.  For  such  places  our  girls  go  out  much  better  prepared 
than  formerly,  having  been  taught  the  beginnings  of  cooking, 
washing,  and  housework,  and  having  learnt  also  to  take  pride 
in  their  work.  When  they  go  out  at  about  fourteen  years  of 
age  there  is  still  a  margin  of  two  years  during  which  the 
guardians  may,  in  case  of  failure,  supplement  their  school 
training  by  training  in  some  special  Industrial  Home.  A 
visitor  to  one  of  our  great  schools  ten  or  twelve  years  ago 
could  not  fail  to  be  struck  with  the  slouching,  sullen  look 
of  the  elder  girls.  That  look  has  gone,  and  the  children  now 
will  hold  themselves  straight  and  will  look  you  in  the  face. 
The  percentage  of  failures  is  now  reckoned  at  10  per  cent. 

Women  guardians  are  by  no  means  indifferent  to  the 
training  and  the  later  career  of  boys  brought  up  in  their 
schools.  A  general  brightening  up  has  fallen  to  their  lot 
also,  with  the  natural  results  that  they  go  into  life  active 
and  independent,  and  that  many  are  doing  remarkably  well. 
Mrs.  Nassau  Senior's  unfavourable  report  on  our  schools 
gave  an  impetus  to  the  movement  for  boarding-out  orphan 
and  deserted  children  in  the  families  of  working  people.  On 
January  I,  1892,  there  were  1689  children  under  boarding- 
out  committees  outside  of  their  own  parish,  and  3323 
boarded  out  by  guardians  within  the  parish. 

By  the  boarding-out  system  followed  by  London  Boards 
of  Guardians,  agreements  are  entered  into  with  committees 
certified  by  the  Local  Government  Board,  composed  of 
ladies  and  gentlemen,  people  of  known  standing  in  the 
country,  who  select  homes  for  the  children  with  respectable 
working  people,  arrange  the  payments  for  their  board  and 
lodging,  and  make  visits  of  inspection  every  few  weeks,  but 
not  so  as  to  destroy  the  authority  or  responsibility  of  the 
foster-parents.  In  a  well-chosen  home  a  child  sent  in 
infancy  grows  up  as  one  of  the  family,  and  when  the  time 
comes  for  facing  the  world,  he  or  she  goes  out  not  as  an 
orphan,  but  as  the  children  of  good  working  people  go. 
They  can  still  turn  for  kindness  to,  and  they  will  still 
receive  guidance  from,  those  who  have  cared  for  them  and 
guided  them  so  far. 

The    question    may  still  be  asked,  What  is  the  special 
effect  of  the  presence  of  women  on  a  Board  of  Guardians  ? 


258  Woman s  Mission. 

I  think  the  key-note  of  their  work  is  struck  in  the  view  they 
take  of  women  of  low  character.  It  is  an  absolute  article  in 
their  creed  that  every  one  they  see  is  a  human  being,  fallen, 
perhaps,  out  of  all  knowledge  from  what  he  or  she  was 
created  to  be,  but  still  a  human  being,  and  as  such  never  to 
be  insulted  or  degraded.  They  will  not  tolerate  the  coarse 
joking  sometimes  heard  at  Boards  where  women  appear  only 
as  paupers,  and  where  none  are  present  as  guardians.  They 
lean  towards  strictness  in  discipline,  and  look  for  all  means 
by  which  the  able-bodied  women  may  be  either  goaded  or 
encouraged  into  an  active  and  honest  life. 

Here  I  should  tell  of  an  arrangement  for  their  good 
adopted  in  at  least  three  London  workhouses.  It  must  be 
evident  that  the  leisure  time  after  working  hours  will  be  a 
time  of  moral  danger  or  distress  according  to  the  character 
of  the  women,  as  it  is  generally  given  up  to  idleness,  and 
often  to  corrupting  conversation.  In  the  workhouses  of 
Whitechapel,  St.  Pancras,  and  Kensington,  this  leisure  time 
is  brought  into  better  use  by  a  Mental  Instructress,  who  for 
two  hours  in  the  evening  has  control  over  the  day-room 
where  the  able-bodied  women  are.  She  teaches  them  to 
work,  not  necessarily  for  the  workhouse,  if  they  like  to  learn. 
She  will  read  to  them  or  talk  with  them.  They  are  not 
compelled  to  listen  or  to  work,  but  they  are  not  allowed  to 
interrupt.  The  effect  at  length  is  to  draw  them  into  an 
interest  in  what  is  going  on,  and  at  least  it  must  put  a  check 
on  a  great  deal  of  evil.  As  I  write,  I  see  the  face  of  a 
woman  reckoned  among  the  able-bodied,  but  blind ;  blinded 
by  her  husband,  since  dead,  in  a  fit  of  temper.  The  Mental 
Instructress  brought  her  the  chance,  for  which  she  had 
been  longing,  of  some  employment  for  her  hands.  She 
has  learnt  to  knit  and  even  to  turn  the  heel  of  a  stocking, 
and  with  every  little  advance  her  face  has  brightened  up, 
and  the  old  dulness  has  been  cheered  away. 

It  is  said  that  the  tendency  of  men  is  to  generalize  and 
of  women  to  individualize.  And  it  is  sometimes  supposed 
that  women  as  guardians  will  nurse  the  babies  in  the  nursery, 
be  the  special  friends  of  the  old  patients  in  the  infirmary 
wards,  and  the  rescuers  of  the  young  women  in  the  work- 
house who  have  fallen  out  of  their  places.  They  may  desire 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  259 

to  do  so,  but  where  the  numbers  are  very  large  it  is  impos- 
sible. Their  first  business  is  to  see  that  the  nurses  and  other 
officers  are  faithful  and  kind  in  their  duty.  They  will  not 
fail  to  bring  in,  or  to  uphold,  voluntary  workers,  who  will  do 
more  individual  and  friendly  work  than  they  can  themselves. 
In  many  of  our  large  workhouses  there  are  Workhouse  Girls' 
Aid  Committees,  who  make  it  their  business  to  search  out 
every  girl  whom  they  can  possibly  help  to  make  a  better 
start,  and  in  all  their  work  they  are  greatly  helped  by  the 
women  guardians.  They  have  to  find  many  ways  of  help- 
ing, as  differences  of  character  are  very  great  even  here. 
Most  of  the  young  women  seem  careless  and  indifferent,  and 
yet  with  higher  influences  and  fresh  hope  they  are  often 
brought  to  amendment  of  life. 

About  a  year  and  a  half  ago,  there  came  before  a  Board 
of  Guardians  a  girl  who  belonged  to  a  parish  far  away  in  the 
country,  where  for  years  she  had  been  the  slave  of  her 
father's  vices.  According  to  the  strict  letter  of  the  law  she 
ought  to  have  been  returned  to  her  own  parish.  But  this 
would  have  thrown  her  back  inevitably  into  the  old  life.  She 
was  taken  out  by  ladies  and  placed  in  a  home  where  she 
quickly  responded  to  every  good  influence,  and  where  she 
spent  what  she  called  the  happiest  time  of  her  life.  In  the 
course  of  a  few  months  it  became  evident  that  she  was  hope- 
lessly consumptive,  and  she  had  to  leave  and  to  apply  for 
admission  into  the  parish  infirmary.  She  was  to  be  received 
in  a  few  days,  but  while  she  was  waiting,  death  came  quite 
gently  and  set  her  free.  This  was  certainly  a  case  in  which 
the  individual  interest  of  guardians  co-operated  with  other 
workers,  and  wisely  modified  the  regular  course  of  the  law. 

The  more  careful  working  of  the  poor  law,  and  the  closer 
observation  of  our  workhouse  inmates,  have  made  us  aware 
that  considerable  numbers,  especially  of  the  women,  are  feeble- 
minded ;  not  idiot  or  imbecile,  but  incapable  of  steadily  con- 
trolling their  actions.  We  are  only  at  the  beginning  of  a 
general  movement,  not  a  sensational  one,  but  one  which 
surely  must  not  flag  or  die  away,  for  the  special  care  of 
women  and  girls  of  this  class.  The  quickened  pace  of  our 
industries,  the  higher  standard  of  work,  the  greater  demand 
on  thought  and  energy,  generally  make  it  an  imperative  duty 

260  Woman  s  Mission. 

to  consider  those  who  cannot  keep  pace  with  the  rest,  and 
even  at  the  cost  of  special  effort  to  protect  and  control  those 
who,  if  left  to  themselves,  will  fall  a  prey  to  evil  men  or  to 
their  own  lower  inclinations.  Several  small  homes  have 
been  started  and  are  still  in  their  infancy,  to  receive  such 
girls  and  employ  them  according  to  their  capacity. 

No  account  of  ameliorations  in  workhouse  life  would  be 
complete  without  a  few  words  about  the  Brabazon  Employ- 
ment Scheme.  In  a  paper  called  the  Idle  Room,  Miss  Blanche 
Medhurst  says — 

"The  more  lady  guardians  are  admitted  to  workhouse 
Boards,  the  more  wide  awake  will  the  women  of  England 
become  as  regards  the  needs  of  infirmary  paupers.  These 
needs  may  briefly  be  summed  up  in  the  word  '  Employment.' 
The  doctors  and  nurses  are  usually  kind  and  thoroughly 
attentive  to  the  inmates,  who  are  neither  ill-fed  nor  ill-treated  ; 
that  is,  they  are  not  ill-treated  in  any  sensational  manner  so 
as  to  rouse  public  indignation.  But  the  negative  ill-treatment 
consists  in  this,  that  nothing  is  done  to  provide  the  crippled 
limbs  and  feeble  minds  with  such  slight  occupation  as  could 
give  interest  to  the  ragged  remnant  of  their  broken  lives,  and 
bring  out  that  best  part  which  is  to  be  found  for  the  seeking, 
even  in  the  worst  of  humanity." 

Of  such  the  foundress  of  the  Brabazon  Employment 
Scheme  (now  Countess  of  Meath)  wrote  in  1882 — 

"  Sad  clusters  of  men  and  women  may  be  seen,  with 
hands  lying  idly  before  them,  dreaming  away  precious  weeks, 
months,  years.  Such  an  existence  is  not  life.  If  it  must  be 
so  designated,  it  is  the  life  of  the  brute  and  not  of  the  man. 
It  is  in  the  hope  of  coming  to  the  aid  of  such  persons  that 
I  would  ask  the  permission  of  the  Board  of  Guardians  to 
give  materials  for  providing  some  sort  of  light  fancy-work 
for  patients  in  infirmary  wards  who  are  at  present  wholly 
unemployed,  or  at  most  only  partially  employed.  In  no  case 
would  I  wish  to  interfere  with  the  labour  of  those  who  are 
already  better  engaged  in  doing  the  needful  work  of  the 
institution.  Netting,  knitting,  patchwork,  wood-carving,  is 
found  to  be  the  best  kind  of  work  for  such  light  hand  labour. 
Materials  should  be  placed  either  in  the  hands  of  the  nurses, 
or  of  sisters  of  the  wards,  whose  duties  are  lightened  when 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  261 

this  is  permitted.  But  no  help  in  such  experiments  is  so 
valuable  as  that  of  the  lady  visitors." 

As  might  easily  be  imagined,  such  a  scheme  appeared 
fanciful  to  many  Boards  of  Guardians  and  officials.  During 
ten  years  Lady  Brabazon's  offer  was  accepted  in  only 
seventeen  workhouses,  but  during  the  present  year  the 
number  has  risen  to  thirty.  From  several  London  parishes, 
from  Manchester,  Bradford,  Coventry,  from  Tunbridge  and 
other  country  parishes,  come  expressions  of  appreciation  of 
the  scheme.  The  doctor  of  the  Tunbridge  Workhouse  says, 
"  It  has  given  new  life  to  the  old  people.  I  have  not  half  so 
much  trouble  with  them,  mentally  or  bodily." 

Before  leaving  this  subject,  I  will  quote  two  stories  which 
speak  for  themselves. 

"  For  many  years  I  was  often  a  visitor  of  the  union,  and 
many  and  many  a  conversation  I  have  had  with  its  inmates, 
and  well  I  remember  one  man  whom  I  saw  there  and  talked 
with.  The  strong  men  were  at  work  in  the  garden,  and  some 
but  little  weaker  were  otherwise  employed  ;  but  this  man  sat 
in  the  sunshine  doing  nothing,  but  thinking  and  thinking,  and 
piling  up  thought  on  thought,  till,  as  he  said,  he  felt  as  if  he 
could  think  no  longer.  There  was  nothing  he  could  do  to 
employ  his  mind.  He  could  not  read,  and  so  he  sat  about 
and  thought.  He  said,  '  One  day  is  as  another.  I  get  up, 
I  eat,  and  it  gets  dark,  and  then  I  soon  go  to  bed  ;  and,  sir, 
what  is  the  use  of  a  life  like  this?  I  want  to  be  doing 
something  I  can  think  about,  for  this  doing  of  nothing  is 
dreadful.  I  cannot  bear  it  much  longer  ! '  I  was  away  for 
some  months.  The  next  time  I  went  the  mistress  told  me 
of  a  sad  ending  of  an  out-wearied  life  of  '  nothing  to  do.' " 
The  man  had  committed  suicide. 

The  next  is  a  happier  story,  of  a  wretched,  crippled 
woman,  "who  had  been  forty  times  in  prison,  and  whose 
savage,  evil  nature  and  violent  temper  were  the  horror  of  all 
who  vainly  attempted  to  refine  or  reform  her.  She  was 
simply  gradually  humanized  by  the  influences  of  the  har- 
monium services,  and  by  the  wholesome  distraction  of  the  light 
employment  she  was  induced  to  try.  I  cannot  soon  forget 
the  ring  of  earnestness  in  her  voice  as  she  wished  God  might 
bless  Lady  Brabazon  '  for  her  good  thought  for  such  as  me.' " 

262  Woman 's  Mission. 

It  will  be  clear  that  among  women  and  children  alone 
there  is  enough  to  occupy  the  mind  and  energy  of  any  woman 
who  serves  as  a  guardian  in  a  large  parish  or  union,  though 
she  will  certainly  not  confine  her  interest  to  them. 

But  the  first  thing  is  to  secure  her  election.  It  is  very 
much  to  be  regretted  that  in  many  parts  of  England  general 
party  politics  are  allowed  to  influence  guardian  elections, 
and  rival  lists  of  candidates  are  drawn  up  by  the  opposed 
political  parties.  But  right-minded  voters  will  ignore  such 
considerations.  They  will  consider  first  the  welfare  of  the 
poor  to  be  cared  for.  They  will  see  that  a  Board  without 
women  will  overlook  many  opportunities  of  good  work. 
They  will  expect  a  woman-candidate  to  have  given  proof  of 
her  care  for  the  poor  in  steady,  quiet  work  for  them  ;  and 
having  found  one  whose  work  has  commended  itself  to  their 
judgment,  they  will  exert  themselves  on  her  behalf  until  she 
is  elected,  and  will  renew  their  political  activities  at  another 
and  more  suitable  time. 

When  elected,  she  will  find  much  to  learn.  She  will 
respect  the  great  system  of  legal  relief  which  she  is  to  help 
to  work  out  She  will  appreciate  the  practical  common  sense 
and  business  habits  of  some  among  her  colleagues,  and  will 
keep  an  open  mind  to  learn  even  from  those  whom  she  may 
think  narrow,  ignorant  and  self-seeking.  She  will  not  shirk 
duties  connected  with  contracts  or  general  business,  though 
other  duties  may  be  more  congenial  to  her.  She  will  learn 
her  work  in  patience,  and  in  patience  she  will  do  it ;  remem- 
bering that  even  the  best  ideas  cannot  be  pushed  by  main 
force.  They  cannot  be  carried  without  the  co-operation  of 
her  colleagues,  who  may  suspect  her  for  a  time  of  being  viewy 
and  fanciful.  "  He  that  believeth  shall  not  make  haste."  She 
believes,  and  watches  and  waits  until  her  opportunity  comes, 
and  gradually  she  will  neither  know  nor  care  much  who 
brought  in  the  best  ideas,  or  who  did  the  best  work,  she 
will  so  fully  realize  that  her  best  work  is  not  merely  her 
individual  work,  but  the  work  of  the  body  of  which  she  is  a 
member,  and  that  if  she  does  her  work  well,  the  ideas  of  that 
body  will  become  larger. 

There  is  no  definite  piece  of  work  for  which  it  is  so  much 
worth  while  to  be  a  guardian  as  that  of  the  election  of  officers. 

Women  as  Guardians  of  the  Poor.  263 

Opportunities  are  sure  to  come,  when  if  possible  the  staff 
should  be  improved,  or  at  least  not  suffered  to  fall  back. 
There  is  no  Board  of  Guardians  that  can  secure  good  adminis- 
tration without  good  officers.  The  Board  may  pass  resolu- 
tions, but  the  officers  have  to  carry  them  out.  It  is  therefore 
of  the  greatest  importance  to  secure  officers  who  will  work 
faithfully  ;  and  when  appointed,  they  should  be  assured  of 
just  consideration  and  encouragement.  The  women  officers 
of  a  Board  at  least  will  look  for  this  from  women  guardians, 
and  they  will  know  that  their  work  and  their  difficulties  can 
best  be  understood  by  them. 

It  generally  happens  that  when  women  are  on  a  Board  of 
Guardians  an  interest  in  their  work  is  awakened  among  all 
the  more  helpful  kind  of  people  in  the  neighbourhood,  and 
a  healthy  public  opinion  is  felt  to  be  playing  upon  our 

During  the  last  two  or  three  years  there  have  been  louder 
and  louder  demands  for  a  reform  of  the  poor  law,  and  it  has 
been  said  that  the  reformed  law  of  1834  is  now  quite  out  of 
date.  It  might  do  more  good  if  in  every  place  the  guardian 
elections  were  followed  with  closer  interest,  if  in  every  place 
the  ratepayers  insisted  upon  an  intelligent  and  large-minded 
interpretation  of  the  law.  At  one  time  it  was  thought  that 
inferior  nursing  was  good  enough  for  sick  paupers,  that  inferior 
teaching  was  good  enough  for  pauper  children.  It  is  now 
becoming  increasingly  recognized  that  cheap  nursing  and 
cheap  teaching  are  not  economical,  that  the  most  economical 
work  is  that  which  is  best  adapted  to  its  purpose.  It  is  for 
the  ratepayers  in  every  parish  to  decide  whether  they  will 
keep  to  the  old  ideas  of  economy,  or  move  forward  to  the 
new ;  whether  they  will  merely  house,  feed,  and  clothe,  those 
dependent  on  them,  or  whether  they  will  use  every  human 
means  to  restore  the  sick  to  health  ;  whether  they  will  train 
the  children  in  their  care  both  in  body  and  mind  for  an  inde- 
pendent life,  and  whether  they  will  take  a  just  and  considerate 
view  of  what  is  due  to  the  aged  and  infirm.  It  is  true  that 
much  larger  sums  are  expended  on  our  schools  and  on  our 
infirmaries  than  formerly,  but  the  administration  of  relief  must 
be  considered  as  a  whole.  A  more  efficient  treatment  can 
hardly  be  called  extravagant  when  it  is  remembered  that  in 

264  Woman  s  Mission. 

the  year  ending  March  25,  1832,  with  a  population  of 
14,000,000,  poor-law  relief  in  England  and  Wales  amounted 
to  ^"7,036,968  ;  whereas  in  1891,  with  a  population  of 
28,762,287,  it  amounted  to  no  more  than  £8,643,318.  Too 
many  voters  have  thought  that  the  first  object  of  a  guardian 
was  to  save  money.  The  first  object  of  the  law  is  to  relieve 
destitution,  and  to  do  this  in  such  a  manner  as  not  to  spread 
and  aggravate  the  evil ;  for  it  must  be  remembered  that  the 
influence  of  a  Board  of  Guardians  extends  far  beyond  its 
actual  work.  It  is  the  law  of  the  land  that  none  shall  be 
suffered  to  perish  of  hunger.  It  is  but  fair  and  just  to  honest 
men  and  women  that  life  should  be  made  irksome  and  painful 
to  those  who  wilfully  take  advantage  of  that  law.  There  must 
be  severity  towards  such  as  these.  But  they  are  only  one 
class.  Among  the  many  who  come  under  the  care  of 
guardians  are  those  who  still  have  a  good  conscience,  though 
they  have  lost  all  besides.  They  have  done  their  day's  work, 
have  brought  up  children,  have  battled  with  the  world,  have 
endured  hardness  and  want,  and  at  last  they  must  needs 
burden  the  parish  and  accept  its  support  with  as  good  a  grace 
as  they  can.  For  the  many  kinds  and  characters  to  be  dealt 
with,  a  true  guardian  of  the  poor  must  be  ever  wakeful  to 
secure  the  chance  of  reinstatement  wherever  it  can  be  given, 
but  in  any  case  to  secure  justice  for  every  one. 



IT  is  not  an  easy  task  to  write  the  history  of  a  movement 
that  has  been  carried  on  in  various  ways  and  with  varying 
success  during  a  period  of  forty  years  ;  but  as  I  am  asked  to 
give  some  account  of  what  has  been  accomplished,  I  will 
endeavour  to  do  so,  believing  that  I  am  perhaps  the  only  one 
remaining  of  the  first  small  body  of  "  reformers  "  in  the  cause 
of  workhouse  management. 

In  1850  a  pamphlet  on  this  subject  was  written  by  two 
ladies,  Mrs.  May  and  Mrs.  Archer,  and  it  was  the  first 
publication  that  turned  my  attention  to  it.  The  pamphlet 
was  called  "A  Plan  for  rendering  the  Union  Poorhouses 
National  Houses  of  Mercy  ; "  and  I  may  add  that  the  same 
plea  is  now  again  being  urged  by  the  Countess  of  Meath 
and  myself. 

But  there  was  an  even  earlier  effort  than  this,  which  must 
not  be  forgotten.  One  hundred  years  before,  a  now  well- 
nigh  forgotten  philanthropist,  Jonas  Hanway,  born  in  1712, 
was  led  to  consider  the  sad  state  of  the  infant  parish  poor. 
He  even  travelled  through  Europe  (no  easy  matter  in  those 
days)  to  ascertain  what  was  done  in  other  countries,  and  on 
his  return  published  the  results  of  his  investigations.  The 
workhouse  of  St.  Clement  Danes  in  the  Strand  is  particu- 
larly named  in  relation  to  this  matter,  and  I  may  mention 
the  coincidence  that  it  was  in  this  very  Strand  Union  that 
my  investigations  and  visits  were  first  carried  on.  In  1761, 
Hanway,  after  ten  years  of  toil  and  unceasing  work,  obtained 
an  act  for  regulating  the  treatment  of  parish  children.  It 
forbade  their  being  kept  in  the  workhouses ;  all  were  to 

266  Woman  s  Mission. 

be  sent  into  the  country  to  be  nursed  till  six  years  old  ; 
and  there  is  no  doubt  that  thousands  of  lives  were  thus 
preserved.  In  1855  a  volume  of  "Practical  Lectures  to 
Ladies"  was  published,  containing  one  by  the  Rev.  J.  S. 
Brewer  on  "Workhouse  Visiting,"  which  showed  that  con- 
sideration for  the  poor  inmates  was  beginning  to  be  felt. 

In  1853,  through  interest  in  a  respectable  old  woman, 
whom  I  had  long  visited  in  her  little  room  (which  she  was 
obliged  to  give  up  for  the  workhouse,  her  eyesight  failing  her 
for  needlework),  I  was  led  to  follow  her  into  her  dreaded  re- 
treat ;  and  from  that  day,  now  forty  years  ago,  my  interest  in 
and  desire  to  help  the  inmates  may  be  dated,  and  has  never 
since  ceased.  Their  utter  loneliness,  their  prison-like  separation 
from  the  outer  world,  was  the  first  thing  that  struck  me  ;  for 
I  learnt  that  no  one  was  allowed  to  enter,  except  the  friends 
and  relations  on  certain  fixed  days,  and  there  were,  of  course, 
many  poor  lonely  creatures  who  had  neither  relation  nor 
friend.  There  were  at  least  five  hundred  inmates  in  that 
one  workhouse,  of  every  class  and  description,  and  of  all 
ages  ;  no  separation  of  classes  being  then  made.  I  obtained 
permission  to  visit  when  I  liked,  but  my  endeavours  to 
extend  this  privilege  to  other  ladies,  when  referred  to  the 
Board  of  Guardians,  consisting  of  local  tradesmen,  were 
unsuccessful.  The  Central  (then  the  Poor  Law)  Board  having 
been  consulted,  it  was  decided  that  there  could  be  no  giving 
way  to  such  an  innovation  as  was  proposed,  which  threatened 
to  overthrow  "  the  discipline  of  the  workhouse "  and  perhaps 
create  a  revolution  !  A  subsequent  application  from  myself 
was  "  reluctantly  declined,"  as  "  forming  an  inconvenient  pre- 
cedent ; "  a  phrase  we  are  all  familiar  with,  in  connection  with 
suggested  reforms !  I  may  here  quote  from  a  little  book  of 
my  "Recollections,"  published  in  1880:  "The  plan  was 
thus  stopped  for  a  time,  but  not  relinquished ;  and  the 
individual  visits  were  continued  by  which  much  knowledge 
was  acquired  of  the  internal  arrangements  of  the  workhouse, 
and  of  the  many  cruel  and  unknown  miseries  which  were 
inflicted  on  the  inmates.  For  what  could  the  best  of  matrons 
effect  for  good  or  comfort,  when  she  was  the  sole  woman 
in  authority  over  that  vast  household,  with  literally  no  helper 
or  assistant  but  pauper  women  ?  " 

The  History  of  Workhouse  Reform.  267 

In  the  following  year,  1854,  another  effort  was  made,  and 
a  personal  interview  was  granted  by  the  President  and  Secre- 
tary of  the  Poor  Law  Board,  when  a  kind  promise  was  given 
that,  if  the  plan  were  carried  on  quietly,  no  objection  would 
be  made.  So  by  degrees,  some  friends  being  enlisted  in  the 
work  and  others  becoming  interested  in  it,  the  visiting  system 
gradually  extended.  There  was  one  visitor  for  every  ward  for 
many  years  (until,  indeed,  the  removal  of  the  old  workhouse) 
both  on  week-days  and  Sundays  ;  with  tea-parties  at  Christ- 
mas, in  which  the  whole  staff  of  visitors,  ladies  and  gentlemen, 

In  1857  I  was  induced  to  send  a  letter  to  the  Guardian, 
a  weekly  high-class  Church  newspaper,  with  some  remarks 
and  suggestions  concerning  "  Homes  for  the  Aged  Poor ; " 
and  this  was  the  beginning  of  a  long-continued  correspond- 
ence. These  letters  were  republished  in  1857  as  a  pamphlet, 
called  "  Metropolitan  Workhouses  and  their  Inmates  ; "  one 
other  having  already  appeared  in  1855,  with  the  title,  "A 
Few  Words  about  the  Inmates  of  our  Workhouses." 

In  1858  Mrs.  G.  W.  Sheppard,  of  Frome,  wrote  a  pamphlet, 
"Sunshine  in  the  Workhouse,"  and  in  the  following  year, 
"  Christmas  Eve  in  a  Workhouse  ; "  both  of  which  helped  to 
bring  the  forgotten  inmates,  who  were  indeed  "  out  of  mind  " 
as  well  as  "  out  of  sight,"  to  the  notice  of  the  outer  world. 

In  1857  a  young  nobleman,  Lord  Raynham,  was  led  to 
consider  the  subject,  in  consequence  of  the  disclosures  that 
had  been  made  public.  He  brought  forward  a  motion  in 
the  House  of  Commons,  that  a  Select  Committee  should  be 
appointed  to  inquire  into  the  condition  and  administration  of 
Metropolitan  workhouses ;  referring  to  the  state  of  St.  Pan- 
eras  Workhouse  (one  of  the  largest  in  London),  where  an 
investigation  had  just  been  made,  resulting  in  a  verdict  of 
"  horrible  "  from  one  of  the  first  of  London  physicians.  But 
though  the  motion  was  well  supported,  after  an  "official" 
reply  from  the  President  of  the  Poor  Law  Board,  it  was  lost. 
Four  years  after  this  apparent  failure,  the  very  Committee 
then  asked  for  was  appointed  ;  and  exactly  ten  years  later, 
in  1867,  the  result  appeared  in  the  Bill  introduced  by  Mr. 
Gathorne  Hardy  (now  Lord  Cranbrook)  and  subsequently 
passed.  By  this  grand  effort  the  Metropolitan  infirmaries 

268  Woman 's  Mission. 

for  the  sick  were  entirely  separated  from  the  workhouses,  and 
placed  under  the  management  of  other  officers.  In  1858 
I  wrote  a  long  article  in  the  Church  of  England  Monthly 
Review  on  "Workhouses  and  Women's  Work,"  afterwards 
published  as  a  pamphlet,  which  was  widely  reviewed  by  the 
daily  press.  Other  movements  were  going  on.  In  1855  the 
matter  of  training  nurses  was  brought  before  the  Epidemiolo- 
gical  Society  of  London  by  an  eminent  physician,  Dr.  Edward 
Sieveking,  who  proposed  that  the  able-bodied  women  in 
workhouses  should  be  thus  made  useful;  and  in  1858  a  cir- 
cular of  the  Poor  Law  Board  sanctioned  the  plan,  which,  I 
may  say  here,  was  never  found  practicable,  owing  to  the 
generally  degraded  character  and  antecedents  of  this  class. 
In  connection  with  this  part  of  our  subject,  I  may  add  the 
satisfactory  information,  that  the  idea  thus  started  has  taken, 
since  1879,  a  practical  and  entirely  successful  form  in  the 
formation  of  the  "Workhouse  Infirmary  Nursing  Associa- 
tion," which  has  now  one  hundred  and  thirty  nurses  at  work 
throughout  the  country,  many  of  them  trained  by  the  funds 
of  the  association  ;  the  demand  for  the  nurses  being  beyond 
the  number  that  can  be  supplied. 

In  1857  a  great  step  was  made  by  a  proposal  to  form 
a  central  society  for  the  promotion  of  workhouse  visiting. 
This  suggestion  was  brought  forward  at  the  first  meeting  of 
the  "  Social  Science  Association,"  which  met  at  Birmingham  ; 
when  I  contributed  a  paper  in  the  department  of  social 
economy  on  the  "  Condition  of  Workhouses " — the  first,  I 
believe,  that  had  ever  come  before  the  public.  The  plan  was 
afterwards  developed  in  London,  under  the  presidency  of  the 
Hon.  Wm.  Cowper  (afterwards  Lord  Mount-Temple),  and  a 
large  and  influential  committee  of  men  and  women  was 
formed,  I  being  the  honorary  secretary.  Its  rules  and  objects 
were :  I.  The  care  of  children,  and  their  after-care  as  well 
(a  plan  now  largely  developed).  2.  For  the  sick  and  afflicted. 
3.  For  the  ignorant  and  depraved,  their  instruction,  and  the  en- 
couragement of  useful  occupation.  Thus  the  seeds  were  sown 
for  many  subsequent  developments ;  one  of  which,  in  con- 
nection with  the  last-named  object,  is  the  "  Brabazon  "  scheme 
for  providing  work  and  suitable  occupation  for  both  men  and 
women  who  are  unable  to  assist  in  the  regular  work  for  the 

The  History  of  Workhouse  Reform.  269 

house.  This  scheme  is  now  being  increasingly  adopted  in 
many  workhouses  in  London  and  the  country,  its  origin  being 
due  to  Lady  Meath,  who  has  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  her 
scheme  now  carried  out  in  America  as  well  as  at  home. 

In  the  year  1859  another  departure  was  made  by  the 
publication  of  a  periodical  called  the  Journal  of  the  Workhouse 
Visiting  Society,  which  at  first  appeared  every  two  months, 
and  then  quarterly.  Much  useful  information  was  thus 
distributed,  and  the  plan  was  continued  till  1865,  when  it 
was  felt  it  had  done  its  useful  work  of  enlightenment,  and  it 
ceased.  In  this  periodical  may  be  found  the  suggestion  of 
nearly  every  movement  now  being  carried  out.  The  first 
meeting  of  the  society  was  held  in  1859,  "the  first  occasion 
on  which  the  claims  of  workhouse  inmates  on  the  sympathy 
of  the  public  have  been  advocated,"  as  was  said  at  the  time. 
Two  bishops  and  many  influential  clergymen  and  laymen 
spoke,  to  advocate  the  cause.  A  committee  of  visitors  was 
formed  for  one  of  the  City  workhouses,  under  the  auspices 
of  the  Lady  Mayoress,  and  in  1 860  one  was  appointed  also 
for  St.  Pancras  Workhouse. 

In  1862  a  Bill  was  carried  through  Parliament — chiefly 
owing  to  the  exertions  of  the  Hon.  Mrs.  Way,  who  had 
already  established  a  school  for  pauper  girls  in  Surrey — 
establishing  the  legality  of  payments  by  the  guardians  to 
homes  certified  by  the  Central  Board.  The  rescue  of  children 
and  girls  from  the  contamination  of  pauper  intercourse  was 
the  first  object  to  engage  the  attention  of  visitors ;  with  the 
result  that  a  home  was  opened  in  London  for  girls  who 
returned  to  the  workhouse  after  being  sent  to  service.  This 
was  done  in  1861,  under  an  influential  committee,  of  which 
the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts  was  one,  while  she  generously 
furnished  the  house  and  paid  the  rent  during  three  years. 
The  management  devolved  upon  me,  and  for  many  years 
I  lived  almost  entirely  at  the  home,  into  which  thirty  girls 
could  be  taken.  I  may  mention  here  that  this  home  was 
carried  on  till  1878,  when  the  house  was  taken  for  the  remaining 
years  of  the  lease  by  a  committee  of  ladies  who  were  beginning 
to  carry  out  the  plans  of  Mrs.  Nassau  Senior,  appointed  in 
1875  as  the  first  Woman  Inspector  under  the  Poor  Law 
Board,  for  the  schools.  This  was  the  starting-point  of  the 

270  Woman's  Mission. 

now  widely  extended  Metropolitan  Association  for  Befriend- 
ing Young  Servants,  numbering  thousands,  under  the  care 
of  a  large  staff  of  visitors,  and  with  homes  also.  Many 
hundreds  of  girls  may  be  said  to  have  been  saved  from  ruin 
during  the  twenty  years'  work  of  this  association. 

In  1860  a  Commission  was  appointed  to  consider  the  state 
of  education  in  England  ;  and  as  pauper  schools  were  included, 
I  was  asked  to  give  evidence  about  them.  The  two  chief 
points  I  dwelt  upon  as  evils  were  the  want  of  industrial 
training  for  girls,  and  the  herding  of  them  together  in  masses. 
Both  evils  have  been  largely  done  away  with  since  by  means 
of  boarding-out  children  (begun  in  1870,  and  suggested  in  our 
Journal in  1864),  and  by  cottage  homes,  started  by  voluntary 
effort,  and  certified  by  the  Local  Government  Board.  An 
association  to  promote  this  last  plan  was  begun  in  1891.* 

In  1860  attention  was  drawn  to  the  condition  of  incurables 
in  workhouses  by  Miss  Frances  Power  Cobbe,  who  had  visited 
the  workhouse  at  Bristol  and  had  become  acquainted  with 
the  sadly  defective  care  of  them.  She  wrote  a  paper  called 
"  A  Plea  for  Destitute  Incurables,"  which  was  read  at  a  Social 
Science  Congress  at  Glasgow,  and  afterwards  brought  before 
the  Central  Board.  A  petition  was  framed,  signed  by  ninety 
of  the  leading  physicians  and  surgeons  of  the  London  hospitals, 
asking  permission  to  give  voluntary  aid  to  such  sufferers  (of 
whom  there  were  supposed  to  be  80,000  in  the  workhouses) 
by  means  of  trained  nurses  ;  comforts  and  appliances  suitable 
to  their  sad  condition  being  supplied  from  a  central  fund. 
Seven  Boards  of  Guardians  consented  to  try  the  plan,  and  it 
was  carried  on  for  two  years ;  but  after  that  time  objection 
was  urged  that  it  was  illegal,  and  contrary  to  the  intentions  of 
the  poor  law.  In  1865  a  deputation  of  the  Workhouse  Visiting 
Society  waited  upon  the  President  of  the  Poor  Law  Board 
(Mr.  Villiers)  with  a  statement  and  petition  as  to  the  general 
condition  of  the  sick  in  workhouse  infirmaries.  Two  meetings, 
attended  by  twenty-one  members  of  Parliament  and  medical 
men,  were  held  at  Mrs.  Gladstone's  house  to  arrange  this  matter. 
This  effort  cannot  be  said  to  have  been  a  failure,  considering 
the  great  results  that  have  followed  from  its  endeavours  and 

*  At  the  present  time  Miss  Mason  is  acting  as  Inspector,  under  the  Local 
Government  Board,  of  all  children  boarded-out. 

The  History  of  Workhouse  Reform.  271 

example.  The  petition  is  remarkable  for  embodying  all 
subsequent  reforms,  but  it  is  too  long  to  be  given  here.  The 
admission  of  additional  medical  men  and  students  into 
poor-law  institutions  was  then  urged,  and  is  still  earnestly 
desired.  Of  the  gentlemen  who  formed  that  deputation 
only  two  are  now  living.  Impressed  by  the  needs  of  sick 
paupers,  it  was  decided  to  take  a  house  adjoining  the  Girls' 
Industrial  Home  for  the  reception  of  incurable  women,  chiefly, 
and  in  the  first  instance,  from  workhouses,  their  cost  (as  in 
the  workhouse)  being  paid  by  the  guardians,  as  in  the  case 
of  the  girls.  This  plan  was  successfully  carried  on  for 
twenty-eight  years,  but  owing  to  the  improvements  in  the 
London  infirmaries,  their  inmates  ceased,  after  a  time,  to  be 

An  inquiry  was  also  instituted  as  to  the  number  of  paid 
nurses  employed  in  workhouses ;  in  most  of  which,  it  was 
found,  there  were  only  paupers  to  attend  the  sick. 

In  1861  another  Parliamentary  Commission  was  appointed, 
at  which  much  valuable  evidence  was  given.  Other  Com- 
mittees followed  in  1888  and  1891.  Among  the  earlier 
efforts  must  be  named  a  letter  to  the  Times,  written  by 
me  in  1858  on  Workhouse  Nurses.  Then  followed  in  1866 
the  "  Lancet  Commission,"  carried  out  by  the  editors  of  that 
paper,  for  an  investigation  into  all  matters  connected  with  the 
sick  in  workhouses.  It  was  well  said  that  this  and  many 
other  endeavours  to  expose  very  grave  evils  were  but 
following  up  the  efforts  of  private  persons ;  public  opinion 
and  the  press  supplying  a  force  that  compelled  official 
action,  "the  foremost  banners  being  borne  by  private 

In  1867  Mr.  Villiers  acknowledged  to  a  deputation  that 
"a  case  had  been  made  out,"  and  although  he  left  office 
before  a  bill  could  be  prepared,  one  was  carried  through  by 
his  successor,  Mr.  Gathorne  Hardy.  The  separation  of  the 
various  classes  of  workhouse  inmates  was  one  of  the  chief 
features  of  this  bill ;  and  though  it  is  not  even  now  entirely 
carried  out,  children  and  the  sick  were  removed  from  the 
"  workhouse,"  so  called,  as  well  as  lunatics,  the  imbecile,  and 
all  infectious  cases.  Of  these  latter  classes  the  Metropolitan 
Asylums  Board,  a  body  formed  from  the  guardians  of  the 

272  Woman s  Mission. 

various  unions  represented,  has  taken  charge.  Its  labours 
are  on  a  truly  gigantic  scale. 

The  first  grand  reform  in  the  management  of  the  sick 
was  begun  at  Liverpool,  when,  in  1865,  Agnes  Jones,  a 
devoted  lady  and  highly  trained  nurse,  was  appointed,  in  the 
enormous  workhouse  of  1200  inmates,  as  superintendent  of 
the  infirmary.  A  second  such  appointment  was  made  at 
the  Sick  Asylum,  Highgate,  when  Miss  Hill,  one  of  the 
Nightingale  Nurses  of  St.  Thomas'  Hospital,  went  there  in 
1870.  These  were  the  first  instances  of  educated  and  trained 
women  taking  such  posts. 

During  the  last  few  years  women  acting  as  guardians  of 
the  poor  have  aided  the  work  of  reform  in  no  small  degree, 
and  by  an  increase  in  their  number,  year  by  year,  we  look 
forward  to  still  further  progress  in  the  right  direction.  The 
first  of  these  ladies  was  elected  in  the  parish  of  Kensington 
in  the  year  1875  ;  and  now  about  one  hundred  and  thirty 
women  are  acting  as  guardians  of  the  poor  in  England, 
Wales,  and  Scotland. 

I  have  now  completed  my  sketch,  but  the  full  extent  of 
all  that  has  been  accomplished  can  only  be  known  to  those 
who  were  eye-witnesses  of  a  state  of  things  now  happily 
passed  away. 

In  conclusion,  may  I  be  allowed  to  point  out  the  moral 
of  this  history,  which  may  be  commended  to  all  who  are 
engaged  in  any  similar  work  and  undertaking  ?  It  is  com- 
prised in  three  words — Patience,  Perseverance,  and  Faith. 





To  give  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  philanthropic  work  now 
being  done  by  the  women  of  Great  Britain  is  indeed  difficult, 
not  only  on  account  of  its  amount  and  variety,  but  from  the 
absence  of  any  system  or  organization  pervading  it. 

Unlike  the  Frauen-Verein  of  the  Continent,  outlined  some 
ten  years  ago  by  our  own  Royal  Princesses,  the  Empress 
Frederick  of  Germany  and  the  late  Princess  Alice  of  Hesse- 
Darmstadt  (an  outline  since  nobly  filled  in  by  thousands  of 
German  women),  any  organization  that  exists  in  England 
has  followed  upon  work  already  done,  rather  than  preceded 
work.  It  has  been  more  of  the  nature  of  growth ;  a  sort  of 
spontaneous  generation  rather  than  the  completion  of  an 
arbitrary  model. 

The  first  sign  of  a  desire  among  women  to  appropriate 
the  advantage  of  united  action  in  works  of  beneficence  was 
given  by  the  Sisterhood  Movement  about  1850;  when  Miss 
Sellon,  the  Hon.  Mrs.  Monsell,  and  others  sought  to  gather 
women  into  religious  community  life — in  the  first  instance 
for  definite  training,  and  afterwards  for  associated  work 
among  the  poor. 

This  example  was  followed  in  1861  by  the  revival  of  the 
Primitive  Order  of  Deaconesses  by  Deaconess  Catharine 
Ferard,  who  had  studied  the  subject  at  Kaiserwerth;  and 
within  the  last  few  years  similar  efforts  to  secure  trained 
and  organized  work  in  nursing,  teaching,  and  the  general 
amelioration  of  the  poor,  have  been  made  by  the  "  Sisters  of 
the  People,"  and  by  branches  of  other  Nonconformist  bodies. 
Of  a  less  definitely  religious  but  equally  earnest  type  are  the 


274  Womaais  Mission. 

"  Women's  Settlements,"  which  are  colonies  of  educated 
women,  principally  students  from  colleges,  who  make  their 
homes  in  crowded  city-quarters  to  minister  to  the  needs  of 
the  populace. 

The  next  sign  that  individual  women  were  becoming 
alive  to  the  heightened  value  which  would  accrue  to  their 
own  work,  by  association  with  others,  was  the  formation  in 
1866  of  a  society  for  the  express  purpose  of  affording  a 
centre  for  the  rapidly  increasing  number  of  institutions  which 
were  being  started  at  the  time.  It  took  the  somewhat 
ambitious  title  of  "  The  National  Central  Office,"  and  aimed 
at  being  "a  focus  to  which  all  societies  for  the  benefit  of 
women  and  girls  of  good  character  in  Great  Britain  and 
Ireland  could  be  drawn  and  placed  in  union  with  each 
other."  In  1869  it  had  affiliated  about  eighty  institutions, 
and,  curiously  enough,  that  has  remained  about  the  yearly 
average  ever  since.  Its  pretensions  to  be  both  national  and 
central  were  dropped  a  few  years  afterwards  for  the  humbler 
title  of  the  "  Society  for  Promoting  Female  Welfare  by  the 
United  Working  of  Institutions  for  the  benefit  of  Women 
and  Girls,"  and  under  this  name  it  has  done  a  very  useful 
work  ever  since.  It  published  in  1869  a  tabular  report  of  its 
affiliated  institutions.  That  this  society,  valuable  as  has  been 
its  career,  has  not  completely  fulfilled  its  early  promise,  is 
probably  caused  by  the  fact  that  it  required  assurances  from 
all  affiliated  institutions  that  they  were  conducted  "  strictly 
upon  scriptural  and  Protestant  principles,"  and  partly  also 
from  the  natural  insularity  of  the  British  mind. 

The  next  examples  of  gradually  aroused  organizing  power 
are  to  be  found  in  the  early  history  of  the  Girls'  Friendly 
Society,  the  Women's  Help  Society,  the  Metropolitan  Asso- 
ciation for  Befriending  Young  Servants,  the  numerous  Girls' 
Clubs  with  their  centre  in  Soho,  London,  and  all  the  com- 
plicated machinery  and  apparatus  of  candidates,  members, 
associates,  branches,  presidents,  lodges,  homes  of  rest,  lending 
libraries,  coffee- taverns,  penny  banks,  free  registries,  con- 
valescent and  training  homes,  besides  monthly  and  weekly 
magazines,  and  a  whole  flood  of  literature  of  all  kinds,  suited 
to  almost  every  age  and  condition  of  womanhood  and  girl- 
hood. These  societies  number  many  thousands  of  English 

The  Organization  of  Women  Workers.         275 

girls  and  women,  not  only  in  Great  Britain  and  her  colonies, 
but  all  over  the  Continent,  in  America,  and,  indeed,  in  all 
quarters  of  the  globe.  Untold  is  the  good  thus  accom- 
plished ;  but  if  the  merits  of  a  society  are  greater  in  propor- 
tion to  the  greater  simplicity  of  machinery,  the  palm  must  be 
given  to  the  Young  Women's  Christian  Association,  which, 
with  little  or  no  organization  beyond  the  Prayer  Union,  out  of 
which  it  originally  started,  also  keeps  an  oversight  of  many 
thousands  of  young  women  in  many  different  parts  of  the 
world.  To  it  also  belongs  the  honour  of  having  worked  out 
most  efficiently  one  of  the  earliest  forms  of  the  "  Travellers' 
Aid  Society ; "  a  provision  for  the  safety  and  protection  of 
young  Englishwomen  travelling  alone  in  their  own  country 
or  abroad. 

Emigration  naturally  rises  to  one's  mind  in  this  connec- 
tion ;  and  it  is  significant  of  the  zeal  of  the  educated  and 
leisured  women  of  England  that,  even  in  this  direction  of 
much  enterprise  and  difficulty,  they  have  not  been  content 
with  working  in  the  channels  created  by  men,  but  have 
elaborated  an  agency  of  their  own  for  the  protection  and 
assistance  of  female  emigrants.  They  may,  indeed,  be  said 
to  have  taken  the  initiative  in  this  direction ;  as  a  society  for 
providing  matrons  to  female  emigrant  ships  was  founded  in 
1859,  and  only  closed  its  career  of  usefulness  in  1877,  when 
Her  Majesty's  Government  followed  its  lead,  and,  by  supply- 
ing matrons  as  Government  officials,  paid  the  society  that 
sincerest  form  of  flattery  known  as  imitation.  The  United 
British  Women's  Emigration  Association,  formed  with  the 
same  object  in  view,  viz.  to  provide  for  the  safety  and  welfare 
of  women  and  girl  emigrants,  has  an  "  Emigrants'  Rest "  for 
women  only,  in  Liverpool  ;  and  by  the  activity  and  zeal  of 
its  vice-president,  who  herself  travels  and  organizes  on  its 
behalf,  the  devotion  of  its  honorary  secretaries,  and  the  excel- 
lence of  its  organization,  has  done  more  to  settle  the  vexed 
question  of  female  emigration  than  any  other  association. 

The  word  "  united  "  is  beginning  to  creep  into  the  vocabu- 
lary of  the  English  worker,  and  is  a  sign  that  more  women, 
either  as  individuals  or  societies,  are  beginning  to  realize  the 
fact  that  "  union  is  strength."  The  motto  has  indeed  been 
adopted  by  the  most  important  thrift  society  at  present 

276  Woman's  Mission. 

existing  for  women.  The  "  United  Sisters'  Friendly  Society," 
which,  although  it  cannot  claim  to  have  been  founded  by 
women  (that  honour  belonging  to  their  good  friend,  the 
Rev.  Frome  Wilkinson),  is  yet  almost  exclusively  managed 
by  them. 

Neither  in  medicine,  nursing,  education,  nor  reformation 
and  rescue  work,  do  women  owe  their  present  position  in  any 
special  way  to  organization.  The  pioneer  medical  women  of 
twenty  years  ago  got  their  diplomas  in  America  and  Paris, 
and  there  is  no  present  bond  of  union  among  the  hundred 
and  forty  registered  medical  women  in  England,  beyond  the 
medical  diploma  which  they  hold  in  common  with  men. 
Nurses  are  to  all  intents  and  purposes,  a  new  creation  ;  and 
though  the  last  few  years  have  seen  a  wonderful  rise  in  the 
estimation  in  which  they  are  held  by  the  public,  and  though 
the  sum  of  ;£  120,000  stands  to  the  credit  of  their  "Royal 
National  Pension  Fund,"  they  do  not  seem  to  have  availed 
themselves  very  eagerly  of  even  the  slight  degree  of  free- 
masonry involved  by  becoming  subscribers  to  it.  Those 
nurses  who  are  also  midwives,  on  the  other  hand,  have  sown 
a  seed  which  may  in  the  future  develop  into  a  large  and 
flourishing  association.  In  the  "  Midwives'  Institute  and 
Trained  Nurses'  Club,"  at  12,  Buckingham  Street,  Strand, 
to  which  all  are  eligible  who  have  passed  the  examination 
of  the  Obstetrical  Society  of  London,  they  possess  both  a 
centre  and  a  registry,  which  will  be  of  great  service  to  them 
when  the  Bill  for  the  Registration  of  Midwives,  shortly  to  be 
presented  to  Parliament,  shall  have  become  law. 

But  although  the  professional  side  of  nursing  has  not 
been  highly  organized,  several  large  and  important  societies 
exist  for  gratuitously  nursing  the  sick  poor  of  the  land.  The 
first  organization  of  this  kind  was  formed  at  Liverpool  in 
1859,  and  the  system  of  district  nursing  then  created  has 
been  adopted,  with  modifications  suitable  to  the  locality,  in 
many  great  towns.  The  Central  Home  of  the  Metropolitan 
and  National  Nursing  Association  of  London  was  opened  in 
1875,  and  the  Royal  Hospital  of  St.  Katherine,  founded  as 
far  back  as  1148,  was  revived  by  its  connection  with  the 
Queen  Victoria  Jubilee  Institute  of  the  present  reign.  The 
members  [of  these,  together  with  the  members  of  the  two 

The  Organization  of  Women  Workers.         277 

large  societies,  the  Rural  Nursing  Association,  now  merged 
into  the  Jubilee  Institute,  and  the  Cottage  Nurses'  Associa- 
tion, increase  in  numbers  every  year. 

The  organizations  founded  by  Englishwomen  about  the 
year  1870  for  raising  the  standard  of  their  education,  such  as 
the  National  Union  for  Improving  the  Education  of  Women, 
the  Yorkshire  Ladies'  Council  of  Education,  and  many  other 
local  societies  founded  for  the  same  object,  have  more  or  less 
accomplished  their  purpose,  and  some  have  voluntarily  dis- 
solved themselves.  The  Girls'  Public  Day  School  Company 
and  the  Church  Schools'  Company,  although  managed  in 
conjunction  with  men,  are  practically  the  result  of  women's 
initiative ;  while  the  Teachers'  Guild,  though  admitting  men 
as  well  as  women,  is  really  a  women's  society,  the  first 
scheme  for  its  formation  having  appeared  in  that  essentially 
women's  magazine,  Work  and  Leisure.  The  Association  of 
Head-Mistresses  and  Assistant-Mistresses  of  Public  Schools, 
the  Governess  Association  in  Ireland,  and  Association  of 
University  Teachers,  are  the  only  existing  organizations 
confined  to  women  teachers.  Their  addresses,  as  well  as  those 
of  all  other  associations  named  in  this  article,  will  be  found 
in  the  directory  of  the  "Englishwomen's  Year  Book." 

In  penitentiary  and  rescue  work,  the  associations  and 
larger  institutions  have  all  been  organized  and  officered  by 
men,  although,  in  a  few,  women  are  members  of  the  com- 
mittees of  management.  As  a  rule,  the  agents  working 
directly  with  the  outcast  populations  are  females,  but  the 
secretaries  are  all  men.  The  noble  work  of  Miss  Steer,  Mrs. 
Wilkes,  and  other  women  are  no  exception  ;  as"  even  in  the 
case  of  Miss  Steer's  numerous  homes  they  are  the  result  of 
individual  and  not  associated  effort. 

The  Christian  Women's  Union,  founded  on  their  return 
from  the  States,  by  those  indefatigable  sisters,  Mrs.  Meredith 
and  Miss  Lloyd,  also  the  foundresses  of  the  Industrial  Colony 
and  Homes  entitled  the  "  Princess  Mary's  Homes"  at  Addle- 
stone,  may,  however,  be  reckoned  one  organized  effort  for 
Christian  work  and  education ;  and  in  the  Social  Purity 
Alliance,  the  Moral  Reform  Union,  the  Vigilance  Association, 
and  the  numerous  associations  for  social  purposes,  women 
are  largely  engaged  either  alone  or  in  conjunction  with  men. 

278  Woman's  Mission. 

For  the  hundreds  of  Preventive  and  Rescue  Homes,  In- 
dustrial Schools,  Convalescent  Homes,  and  Homes  of  Rest, 
the  women  of  England  seem  to  be  almost  exclusively  re- 
sponsible. Here  and  there  men  act  as  treasurers,  visitors, 
or  members  of  committee,  and  chaplains  and  medical  officers 
are,  of  course,  of  the  nobler  sex ;  but  the  whole  army  of 
"mothers,"  matrons,  trainers,  teachers,  etc.,  are  all  women, 
and  it  may  safely  be  predicted  that  these  homes  have  received 
their  first  impulse  from  woman,  and  could  not  now  be  carried 
on  without  her. 

In  social  questions,  and  especially  in  dealing  with  that 
great  and  terrible  evil,  intemperance,  women  have  been  at 
work  for  at  least  thirty  years  in  local  guilds,  bands,  unions, 
and  other  efforts  of  all  kinds  and  in  all  places,  for  the  repres- 
sion of  drunkenness  and  the  inculcation  of  temperance  and 
total  abstinence.  One  of  the  largest  organizations  is  the 
women's  branch  of  the  Church  of  England  Temperance 
Society ;  and  there  are  other  powerful  agencies  for  good, 
especially  the  British  Women's  Temperance  Association,  the 
United  Kingdom  Band  of  Hope  Union,  etc. 

In  charities  pure  and  simple,  women  are  working  both  as 
individuals  and  in  association  in  very  large  numbers,  while 
in  organized  and  regulated  charity,  the  "Working  Ladies' 
Guild  "  for  the  relief  of  destitute  gentlewomen,  administered 
by  "groups"  of  ladies  in  different  localities,  with  H.R.H.  the 
Princess  Beatrice  as  their  Patroness,  and  H.R.H.  the  Princess 
Frederica  of  Pawel-Rammagen  as  the  head  of  one  of  the 
"groups,"  may  well  take  the  lead.  The  Ministering  Chil- 
dren's League,  founded  by  the  Countess  of  Meath,  has  also 
a  powerful  and  far-reaching  organization. 

The  two  most  striking  examples  of  united  work  among 
Englishwomen,  and  those  of  most  recent  and  speediest 
growth,  are,  however,  the  Mothers'  Union  Movement,  and 
the  Needlework  Guilds  founded  by  Lady  Wolverton. 

The  Mothers'  Union  is  almost  exclusively  worked  on 
Church  lines,  though  mothers'  meetings,  out  of  which  the 
Union  more  or  less  arose,  are  common  to  every  religious 
body.  There  are  diocesan  unions  in  almost  every  diocese 
in  England  and  Wales  ;  but  Scotland  is  worked  by  districts, 
and  some  localities  parochially.  At  Birmingham,  for  in- 

The  Organization  of  Women  Workers.         279 

stance,  returns  are  sent  in  parochially  by  branches  in  con- 
nection with  Nonconformist  congregations,  equally  with 
Church  workers,  to  the  diocesan  centre,  of  which  the  wife 
of  the  Bishop  is  the  President. 

In  the  direction  of  technical  education  and  the  classes 
for  arts  and  handicrafts,  which  appear  likely  in  future  to 
form  part  of  the  educational  system  established  by  the  law 
of  the  land,  women  have  been  not  only  pioneers  but  organ- 
izers. The  Cookery  School  in  Kensington,  the  Laundry 
Schools  grafted  upon  cookery  and  other  domestic  arts  in 
Liverpool,  Glasgow,  and  Edinburgh,  the  numerous  local 
societies  for  the  same  purposes  in  the  Midlands,  now  known 
as  the  "National  Union  for  the  Technical  Education  of 
Women  in  the  Domestic  Sciences,"  were  all  founded,  drafted, 
and  carried  on  to  their  present  stage  by  women.  In  count- 
less other  benevolent  experiments  for  befriending  the  work- 
ing and  artisan  class,  such  as  the  society  for  bringing  beauty 
into  their  homes,  the  Recreative  Evening  Association,  the 
Happy  Afternoons  Society  for  teaching  games  to  the  Board 
School  children,  the  numerous  guilds  for  writing  letters, 
supplying  amusements  to  the  friendless  or  the  aged  in 
workhouses,  in  ways  too  numerous  to  mention,  English- 
women have  been  devoting  their  time,  their  means,  yea,  their 
very  selves,  to  the  ministry  of  others.  By  rent-collecting  they 
have  worked  a  reformation  in  the  crowded  rookeries  of  the 
poorer  populations  of  our  cities,  and  through  the  medium  of 
the  "  College  by  Post "  highly  cultivated  girls  have  initiated 
a  system  of  intellectual  tuition  which  is  raising  thousands 
of  their  less-favoured  sisters  to  a  standard  of  education  which, 
unassisted,  they  could  never  have  hoped  to  attain. 

That  Englishwomen  possess  the  faculty  for  organization 
is  further  shown  by  the  extraordinary  success  of  the  Needle- 
work Guild,  which,  conducted  on  the  simple  plan  of  "  circles  " 
(one  worker  undertaking  to  find  five  others,  each  willing  to 
supply  two  garments  yearly),  last  year  accumulated  no  less 
than  14,040  articles.  The  punctuality,  precision,  and  method 
required  to  create  and  collect  the  gigantic  heaps  of  carefully 
sorted  garments  which  were  on  view  last  November  in  the 
palatial  precincts  of  the  new  Imperial  Institute,  strikingly 
illustrated  the  business  power  of  ladies,  belonging  in  a 

280  Woman's  Mission. 

great  measure  to  the  "  upper  ten  thousand "  of  Great 

The  Parents'  National  Educational  Union  is,  perhaps,  the 
exception  which  proves  the  rule  ;  for  the  remarkable  way  in 
which  parents  of  both  sexes  have  been  willing  to  listen  to 
lectures  on  the  subject  of  bringing  up  their  children,  and  to 
appropriate  the  hints  of  Miss  Charlotte  Mason,  the  enthusiastic 
educationalist,  whose  name  is  probably  not  unknown  in 
Chicago,  would  seem  to  falsify  the  statement  that  organization 
is  unknown  in  Englishwomen's  work.  Perhaps  only  a  spinster 
without  a  mother's  natural  prejudices  and  predilections  in 
favour  of  her  offspring  and  her  educational  methods,  could 
possibly  hold  a  position  sufficiently  independent  to  be  listened 
to  as  she  has  been. 

In  the  Royal  School  of  Art  Needlework,  which  arose 
from  the  twofold  desire  of  its  distinguished  foundress,  Lady 
Welby,  to  revive  a  lost  and  beautiful  art,  while  also  minister- 
ing to  the  needs  of  reduced  gentlewomen,  and  in  many 
similar  efforts  both  in  London  and  the  provinces,  English- 
women have  shown  that  they  can  organize  and  carry  to 
successful  issues  enterprises  combining  sound  commercial 
principles  with  the  tenderest  philanthropy.  Classes  for  the 
instruction  of  village  lads  in  wood-carving,  beaten  brass  work, 
and  other  profitable  and  educational  arts,  have  been  started 
simultaneously  by  voluntary  workers,  of  whom  the  majority 
are  women,  throughout  the  United  Kingdom  ;  and  they  will 
be  ready  to  avail  themselves  of  State  assistance  when  the 
County  Councils  and  the  Art  and  Education  Departments 
of  the  Government  have  completed  their  schemes  of  aid. 

It  will  be  obvious  from  what  has  been  said  so  far  that 
although  the  women  workers  of  Great  Britain,  as  a  rule,  work 
first  and  organize  afterwards,  they  have  largely  availed  them- 
selves of  the  organizations  which  in  this  old  country  of  Eng- 
land lie  ready  to  their  hands.  The  Mothers'  Union,  the 
Girls'  Friendly  Society,  and  the  Women's  Help  Society  have 
fitted  their  machinery  into  the  framework  of  the  Established 
Church.  The  Metropolitan  Association  for  Befriending 
Young  Servants  avails  itself  of  the  organization  of  the  Local 
Government  Board  ;  and  the  associations  for  the  care  of  girls 
— associations  scattered  throughout  the  provinces — are  the 

The  Organization  of  Women  Workers.         281 

counterparts  of  the  M.A.B.Y.S.,  as  the  name  of  the  last- 
mentioned  society  is  abbreviated, — plus  committees  of 

Workers  in  prisons  and  at  prison  gates  place  themselves 
at  the  disposal  of  the  magistrates  and  the  governors  of  the 
gaols.  Women's  work  among  soldiers  builds  homes  close 
to  the  barracks,  and  Miss  Weston  is  almost  as  well  known  by 
sailors  in  Her  Majesty's  men-of-war  and  the  Merchant  Service 
as  their  own  log-book.  The  Workhouse  Visiting  and  Infirmary 
Nursing  Societies  adopt  the  divisions  of  the  Local  Govern- 
ment Board,  and  carry  on  their  work  upon  the  lines  and 
districts  of  the  County  Unions  ;  while  the  Women's  Liberal 
Societies,  the  only  ones  conducted  exclusively  by  women, 
also  naturally  work  upon  the  Parliamentary  divisions  of  the 

It  might  be  thought  that  no  chain  could  be  light  enough, 
and  no  centre  comprehensive  enough,  to  hold  together  even 
in  the  slightest  of  relations,  so  numerous,  so  heterogeneous 
so  independent  a  mass  of  institutions  as  are  maintained  by 
the  women  of  Great  Britain  for  the  benefit  of  their  kind. 
There  seems,  however,  a  prospect  that  from  the  annual 
conferences  of  women  workers  which  have  arisen  out  of  the 
local  unions  lately  formed  in  so  many  districts,  may  sound 
forth  the  key-note  that  shall  resolve  these  many  changing 
chords  into  one  harmonious  anthem  of  "  Peace  upon  earth, 
and  good  will  to  men."  At  Bristol,  in  November,  1892,  all 
doubts  as  to  the  permanent  success  likely  to  attend  these 
conferences  were  finally  set  at  rest.  The  reports  of  the 
papers  and  speeches  delivered  at  Barnsley,  Birmingham, 
Liverpool,  and  Bristol  will  satisfy  any  reader  that  the  time 
is  ripe  for  the  foundation  of  "The  National  Union  of 
Women  Workers."  This  union  now  offers  that  focus  at  the 
centre,  and  that  medium  for  communication  and  fellowship 
at  the  circumference,  the  need  of  which  has  been  so  greatly 
felt  since  the  number  both  of  workers  and  of  institutions 
has  so  largely  increased.  In  future,  with  its  annual  con- 
ferences, its  Metropolitan  Central  Bureau,  local  unions,  branch 
offices,  and  corresponding  members  scattered  throughout  Great 
Britain,  the  C.C.C.  (as  from  the  name  of  its  executive,  the 
Central  Conference  Council,  it  is  familiarly  called)  will  afford 

282  Woman's  Mission. 

the  happiest  and  simplest  organization  for  the  encouragement 
and  assistance  of  individual  effort  that  can  be  imagined.  This 
paper  cannot  be  more  fitly  closed  than  by  quoting  the  answer 
of  its  foundress  and  honorary  organizing  secretary,  Miss 
Janes,  in  answer  to  the  question,  "  What  do  you  expect  will 
be  the  immediate  outcome  of  these  conferences  ? "  and,  I  also 
may  add,  practically  the  whole  question  of  united  organized 
effort  among  the  women  of  Great  Britain  and  her  colonies. 
She  says,  "  Hearts  have  been  quickened,  prejudices  removed, 
good  methods  described,  a  high  standard  fearlessly  proclaimed 
and  warmly  assented  to,  vision  widened,  insight  deepened. 
We  have  found  how  true  a  harmony  may  exist  between  those 
who  differ,  where  there  is  a  real  desire  to  see  truth  and  follow 
it ;  we  have  learned  how  '  in  quietness  and  in  confidence '  our 
strength  lies ;  we  have  felt  the  influence  of  the  spirit  of 
wisdom  and  of  love.  We  have  met  friends  face  to  face,  we 
have  had  our  hearts  stirred  within  us  as  they  have  reasoned 
of  righteousness,  temperance,  and  the  judgment  which  will 
surely  come  if  we  omit  to  build  the  life  of  home,  and  country, 
on  the  only  sure  foundation.  We  have  come  a  step  nearer 
to  our  desired  end — the  realization  of  our  solidarity — the 
greater  economy  of  our  forces  through  more  united  plans  of 
action,  the  truer  understanding  of  causes,  and  the  better 
adjustment  of  means  to  ends." 

The  choice  of  subjects  discussed  at  these  conferences  will 
of  itself  be  an  indication  of  their  practical  nature,  and  of  the 
earnest  spirit  in  which  their  promoters  applied  themselves  to 
their  task. 

Some  sixty-three  papers  have  been  read  at  the  four  con- 
ferences held  in  1889  at  Barnsley,  in  1890  at  Birmingham,  in 
1891  at  Liverpool,  and  in  1892  at  Bristol;  and  they  were 
listened  to  with  unflagging  interest  by  many  thousands  of 
women,  while  perhaps  some  hundred  women  speakers  took 
part  in  the  after  discussions.  Verbatim  reports  of  all  the 
proceedings  have  been  largely  sold — that  of  the  Birmingham 
Conference  being  still  in  request,  so  that  reprints  have  been 
required.  This  may  be  in  part  owing  to  the  valuable 
appendix,  which  gives  the  titles,  prices,  and  publishers  of 
over  seventy  publications  bearing  on  the  subjects  which  had 
been  under  discussion. 

The  Organization  of  Women  Workers.         283 

At  the  last  three  conferences  an  especial  meeting  has 
been  devoted  to  subjects  of  interest  and  suitability  to  young 
girls ;  and  the  number  of  the  audiences  at  the  "  Young  Ladies' 
Meetings  "  has  only  been  limited  by  the  size  of  the  room — 
600  and  700  at  Birmingham  and  Liverpool,  and  1500  at 

At  Liverpool  the  novel  feature  of  a  "  Working  Women's 
Meeting"  was  introduced  with  great  success.  The  hall, 
holding  1500  persons,  was  crowded  to  excess.  Addresses 
were  given  by  the  wife  of  one  of  our  most  distinguished 
Bishops,  the  wife  of  an  eminent  Nonconformist,  and  other 
ladies  representing  widely  different  views ;  but  all  united  in 
uttering  faithful  and  loving  words  of  sympathy  and  counsel 
to  their  less  favoured  sisters.  Between  each  address  all 
united  in  singing  hymns,  and  there  were  no  signs  of  flagging 

284  Woman  s  Mission. 


"  IDLENESS  alone  is  without  hope  ; "  by  useful  labour  the 
lives  of  the  most  wretched  can  be  ennobled  and  rendered 
happy.  This  is  the  moral  to  be  pointed  by  this  paper  on 
"Woman,  the  Missionary  of  Industry,"  and  is  amply  con- 
firmed by  the  records  of  the  work  of  Mrs.  Morrogh  Bernard, 
Mrs.  Rogers,  and  Miss  Roberts  among  the  Irish  peasants, 
of  Mrs.  Arthur  Hanson  among  the  Turkish  refugees  at 
Constantinople,  and  by  many  other  deeply  interesting  reports  * 
I  have  had  the  honour,  as  President  of  the  Section  of  the 
Philanthropic  Work  of  British  Women,  of  sending  to  the 
Chicago  Exhibition.  Woman,  both  from  nature  and  circum- 
stance, has  been  generally  a  silent  worker  for  the  benefit  of 
her  fellow-beings  ;  doing  good  by  stealth  ;  making  many 
a  "nook  of  God's  creation  a  little  fruitfuller,  better,  more 
worthy  of  God,"  many  "  human  hearts  a  little  wiser,  man- 
fuller,  and  happier  ; "  and,  especially  in  our  age,  in  the  van 
among  the  captains  of  the  world,  battling  with  evil  in  all  its 
multitudinous  forms.  But  although  in  this  great  work,  and 
this  great  conflict,  women  have  borne  their  full  share  of  the 
heat  and  burden  of  the  day,  their  services  until  quite  recently 
have  received  but  scant  recognition.  Even  now  scarcely  a 

*  Many  other  records  of  the  beneficent  results  of  the  work  of  individual  women 
in  aiding  the  poor  to  help  themselves,  are  dealt  with  in  the  papers  by  Mrs. 
Gilbert  and  Miss  Petrie  ;  and  I  would  like  to  direct  special  attention  to  what  is 
said  respecting  the  work  of  Miss  Maude  among  the  labourers  in  Somersetshire, 
of  the  Duchess  of  Sutherland,  Lady  Grisell  Baillie  Hamilton,  and  Miss  Ferguson 
in  isolated  country  districts  in  Scotland. 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  285 

tithe  is  known  of  what  woman  has  done  and  is  doing  to 
bring  brightness  and  hope  into  the  dark  lives  of  dumb 
millions  of  toilers.  It  will  be  accounted  to  the  honour  of 
the  American  people  in  the  future  that  they  were  the  first  to 
give  a  national  recognition  to  the  moral  and  material  effects 
of  woman's  work  and  influence  for  good  in  the  world.  For 
the  first  time  in  the  records  of  National  and  International 
Exhibitions,  an  attempt  has  been  made  at  Chicago  to  give, 
what  I  may  term,  a  dramatic  and  impressive  representation 
of  what  women  have  endeavoured  to  accomplish  in  every 
branch  of  philanthropy,  literature,  science,  and  art.  "  How 
far  that  little  candle  throws  its  beams  "  will  be  uppermost  in 
the  minds  of  visitors  to  the  Women's  Building  ;  though  but 
a  glimmer  of  the  shining  light  of  woman's  philanthropic  work 
is  reflected  there. 

Of  the  devotion  and  self-sacrifice  of  the  women  who  are 
everywhere  about  us  labouring  with  unfailing  patience  and 
faith  to  bring  light  into  dark  places,  it  is  impossible  to  speak 
without  emotion.  Theirs,  in  truth,  is  no  "  May  game,  but  a 
battle  and  stern  pilgrimage  ; "  and  only  in  the  knowledge  of 
the  good  they  have  wrought  lies  their  reward.  Through  the 
efforts  of  Mrs.  Bernard,  Mrs.  Rogers,  Miss  Roberts,  and  Mrs. 
Hanson,  as  well  as  of  thousands  of  others,  idleness  has  given 
place  to  industry,  squalid  poverty  to  prosperity,  ignorance  to 
enlightenment.  And  no  feature  of  the  single-handed  work 
of  women  is  more  striking  than  the  wisdom  and  discretion 
with  which  it  is  generally  conducted.  Inspired  by  a  large- 
hearted  benevolence,  and  warm  sympathy  with  the  poor  and 
suffering,  the  majority  of  women  workers  in  philanthropy 
have  not  allowed  their  feelings  to  obscure  their  judgment. 
They  recognize  that — 

"  The  truly  generous  is  the  truly  wise." 

To  enable  those  who  would  otherwise  be  destitute  to  help 
themselves  is  more  truly  generous  than  to  give  alms.  In  the 
one  case  those  in  distress  are  made  self-reliant,  independent, 
and  useful  members  of  the  community ;  in  the  other  degra- 
dation and  demoralization  are  too  often  the  result. 

The  difficulty  of  adequately  representing  the  philanthropic 
work  of  women  in  the  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain  and 

286  Woman  s  Mission. 

Ireland  will  be  best  appreciated  by  those  most  intimately  ac- 
quainted with  the  subject,  and  it  is  with  the  object  of  bringing 
some  of  the  difficulties  home  to  the  minds  of  others  that  I 
have  undertaken  in  this  paper  to  give  a  brief  outline  of  what 
four  women,  whose  names  have  hitherto  been  comparatively 
unknown,  have  been  able  to  accomplish  by  their  individual 
efforts.  The  story,  which  shall  be  told  as  far  as  possible  in 
the  words  of  the  reports  kindly  sent  to  me  in  response  to  a 
special  request,  illustrates  at  once  the  vast  importance  of  the 
philanthropic  work  quietly  carried  on  by  thousands  of  in- 
dividual ladies,  of  whose  very  existence  the  public  has  no 
idea,  and  the  impossibility  of  obtaining  even  an  approxi- 
mately accurate  report  of  what  British  women  are  doing  for 
the  welfare  of  humanity.  Not  only  is  the  record  of  the  work 
of  the  four  ladies  I  have  already  named,  deeply  interesting 
and  instructive,  but,  owing  to  exigencies  of  time  and  space, 
it  must  be  taken  as  representative  of  the  noble  results  achieved 
by  thousands  of  other  silent  workers. 

We  all  remember  those  gloomy  days  in  the  eighties  when, 
by  the  failure  of  the  potato  harvest,  thousands  of  Irish  pea- 
sants were  brought  face  to  face  with  starvation.  It  was 
the  Duchess  of  Marlborough,  aided  chiefly  by  women,  who 
organized  the  relief  fund  for  holding  the  famine  at  bay.  In 
the  still  more  gloomy  days  that  followed,  when  men  were 
forced  to  sit  with  folded  hands  whilst  their  wives  and  children 
were  lacking  bread,  it  was  women  who  first  brought  help.  In 
every  part  of  Ireland  there  are  traces  of  their  work.  Many 
a  village  in  which  a  few  years  ago  misery  and  want  were 
chronic,  is  now  the  centre  of  a  flourishing  little  industrial 
community.  Such  undertakings  as  those  of  Mrs.  Bernard, 
Mrs.  Rogers,  and  Miss  Roberts  have  brought  fresh  life  and 
hope  to  Ireland  ;  and  what  these  ladies  are  doing  at  Foxford, 
at  Carrick,  and  among  the  "  Rosses,"  others  are  doing  else- 
where, from  Cape  Clear  to  the  Giant's  Causeway. 

Mrs.  Morrogh  Bernard  has  long  done  yeoman's  service  in 
the  cause  of  philanthropy.  For  many  years  she  was  the 
Superior  of  a  convent  at  Ballaghaderin  ;  and  whilst  there  she 
took  a  warm  interest  in  all  movements  for  improving  the 
condition  of  the  peasants.  The  National  Schools  which,  as 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  287 

Mother  Superior,  she  had  under  her  direction,  were  models 
of  good  management  The  girls  she  trained  were  as  a  rule 
bright  and  intelligent,  and  she  fitted  them  so  far  as  in  them 
lay  to  do  good  work  in  the  world.  Unfortunately,  for  many 
a  mile  around  Ballaghaderin,  there  were  more  hands  to  work 
than  there  was  work  for  them  to  do  ;  more  mouths  to  be  fed 
than  there  was  food  wherewith  to  feed  them  ;  for  it  is  in  the 
centre  of  one  of  the  so-called  congested  districts,  where  a 
failure  of  the  potato  crop  always  means  famine.  The  soil  is 
so  poor  that  it  hardly  defrays  the  cost  of  cultivation,  and  in 
those  days  there  was  no  industrial  employment  of  any  kind 
in  the  neighbourhood.  Thus,  when  their  school-days  were 
over,  the  peasant  girls  had  to  face  a  painful  alternative. 
They  either  had  to  leave  their  friends  and  country,  without 
having  received  the  training  necessary  to  render  them  suc- 
cessful emigrants,  and  to  guard  them  against  many  privations 
and  dangers,  or  they  had  to  linger  on  at  home  in  hope- 
less idleness,  with  semi-starvation  for  a  companion.  Mrs. 
Bernard  was  keenly  alive  to  the  suffering  this  state  of  things 
entailed  on  the  poor  among  whom  she  lived.  It  was  heart- 
breaking work  for  her  to  see  the  girls  she  had  so  carefully 
trained  wasting  their  lives,  a  burden  on  those  of  whom  they 
should  have  been  the  support.  There  was  work  enough  in 
the  world  that  wanted  doing,  she  was  sure,  if  only  she  could 
put  them  in  the  way  of  doing  it.  After  much  anxious 
thought,  she  resolved  to  try  to  organize  a  woollen  mill,  to 
provide  not  only  profitable  occupation  for  the  women  and 
girls  in  the  neighbourhood,  but  also  technical  training  for  the 
children  under  her  care. 

Whilst  she  was  pondering  on  ways  and  means,  it  chanced 
that  the  bishop  of  the  diocese  paid  her  schools  a  visit  As 
he  was  passing  through  the  class-room,  one  of  the  children 
asked  him  to  give  "  handsel,"  and  "  get  the  Reverend  Mother 
a  hand-loom."  The  child  added  that  her  mother  had  "a 
grand  one  at  home."  The  bishop  consented,  and  the  loom, 
a  veritable  heirloom,  full  of  years  and  moth-holes,  was  pur- 
chased for  thirty  shillings.  The  loom  was  harnessed  at  once, 
and  the  head  weaver  of  the  Manchester  Technical  School 
devoted  his  Christmas  holidays  to  teaching  the  nuns  and 
their  pupils  how  it  was  to  be  served.  It  was  soon  evident, 

288  Woman's  Mission. 

however,  that  Mrs.  Bernard  could  not  put  her  scheme  into 
execution  at  Ballaghaderin,  and  she  felt  that  she  would  have 
to  find  some  more  suitable  site  for  her  mill. 

One  day  she  was  at  Foxford,  about  twenty  miles  from 
Ballaghaderin  ;  and  whilst  standing  on  the  bridge  across 
the  Moy,  she  noticed  the  tremendous  force  with  which  the 
torrent  there  comes  rushing  down  the  rock-side.  Such  a 
water  power  as  this  was  the  very  thing  she  wanted ;  and 
there  and  then  she  determined  to  buy  a  piece  of  land 
close  to  the  stream  for  her  mill.  She  resigned  her  post  as 
Superior  of  the  convent,  and  accompanied  by  a  little  band 
of  Sisters  of  Charity,  set  out  for  Foxford,  April  25,  1891. 
She  was  convinced  that  the  wisest  course  would  be  to  start 
a  school  for  peasant  children  first,  and  then,  when  that  was 
in  working  order,  a  mill.  The  plan  was  to  begin  with  the 
infants  in  the  junior  school,  and  gradually  educate  them  with 
a  view  of  introducing  them  to  mill  life  after  they  had 
acquired  a  knowledge  of  the  woollen  industry,  in  a  sort  of 
woollen  kindergarten.  When  they  had  been  fairly  instructed 
in  religious  and  secular  matters,  these  children  were  to  be 
sent  to  the  technical  mill  as  half-timers,  at  the  usual 
standard  ages,  and  continue  to  receive  education  and  training 
until  they  could  be  sent  out  as  finished  mill-workers.  Then 
they  would  take  rank  as  skilled  workwomen,  and  as  such 
would  have  little  difficulty  in  earning  an  honest  livelihood. 

On  the  land  Mrs.  Bernard  bought  at  Foxford  there  was 
an  old  corn  store,  which  she  speedily  had  transformed  into 
a  class-room,  and  in  it,  on  August  I,  1891,  she  opened 
her  school  with  eighty-four  pupils.  So  far  her  work  had 
been  comparatively  easy.  It  was  in  the  organization  of  the 
mill  that  the  real  difficulty  lay.  The  woollen  manufacture 
is  a  very  complex  business,  one  in  which  it  is  by  no  means 
easy,  even  for  those  specially  trained  for  the  work,  to  succeed. 
Neither  Mrs.  Bernard  nor  her  companions  had  any  technical 
knowledge  :  and  we  can  hardly  wonder,  therefore,  that  the 
announcement  of  their  project  was  greeted  with  prophecies 
of  failure.  The  undertaking  seemed  hopeless  ;  but  the  nuns, 
true  to  their  motto,  Caritas  Christi  urget  nos,  never  wavered 
in  their  faith  that  Providence  would  help  them  on  their  way. 
Mrs.  Bernard  and  one  of  the  Sisters  set  out  in  search  of 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  289 

information.     They  visited  mill  after  mill,  bent  upon  learning 
every  detail  of  the  industry  they  wished  to  establish. 

"  It  was  a  curious  sight  to  see  veiled  nuns  studying  the 
various  machines  used  in  the  woollen  trade,  and  taking 
copious  notes  of  the  many  processes  through  which  the  wool 
passes  before  it  becomes  finished  cloth."  At  best  it  was 
weary  work  for  them,  for  the  more  they  went  into  the  details 
of  the  business  the  more  perplexing  did  it  become.  Probably 
they  never  realized  all  the  difficulties  they  would  have  to 
contend  against  until  they  went  on  this  journey.  Just  when 
things  were  at  the  darkest,  however,  there  came  a  gleam  of 
light  Nothing  daunted  by  the  discouragement  she  met 
with,  though  sorely  troubled,  Mrs.  Bernard  appealed  for 
advice  to  Mr.  J.  C.  Smith,  the  managing  partner  of  a  firm 
noted  for  the  beautiful  woollen  fabrics  it  turns  out.  This 
gentleman  was  keenly  interested  by  what  she  told  him  of 
her  plans  ;  still,  he  had  little  faith  in  women  as  organizers, 
and  strove  earnestly  to  persuade  her  to  try  some  other  and 
less  intricate  method  of  doing  good.  But  when  he  found 
that,  in  spite  of  his  warnings,  Mrs.  Bernard  persisted  in  her 
project,  he  drew  up  for  her  the  plan  of  the  technical  mill  as 
it  now  stands,  and  gave  her  the  full  benefit  of  his  experience 
in  arranging  how  the  work  was  to  be  done. 

The  months  that  followed  were  a  great  anxiety  for  Mrs. 
Bernard,  for  it  was  a  serious  undertaking  this  starting  of  a 
woollen  mill  in  a  wild  district.  In  addition  to  all  her  other 
cares,  she  had  financial  difficulties  to  struggle  against.  She 
had  but  scant  means  at  her  disposal,  building  and  machinery 
were  a  heavy  expense,  and  she  soon  found  herself  compelled 
to  borrow  money.  Even  in  those  days,  however,  before  it 
was  properly  started,  she  had  the  happiness  of  knowing  that 
her  scheme  was  proving  a  blessing  to  her  poorer  neighbours. 
Numbers  of  the  peasants  were  kept  busily  employed  all 
through  the  dreary  winter — the  first  time  for  many  a  long 
year.  "  Gradually  the  plans  were  carried  out ;  the  mill-race 
was  completed  ;  a  powerful  turbine  water-motor  of  the  latest 
modern  construction  was  placed  in  position ;  and  in  due 
time  all  the  woollen  machinery  was  ready.  Mr.  Burdett- 
Coutts,  M.P.,  and  Mr.  Wrench  as  representative  of  the  Con- 
gested Districts  Board,  were  present  when  the  first  start  was 


290  Woman  s  Mission. 

made.  It  fell  to  the  lot  of  Mr.  Burdett-Coutts  to  draw  forth 
the  beautiful  soft  fleece  from  the  first  bag  ever  opened  at 
Foxford,  and  as  a  souvenir  of  this  little  ceremony  he  has 
since  had  some  hand-looms  set  up  in  the  mill  for  the  Sisters." 
During  the  last  two  years  the  state  of  things  at  Foxford 
has  been  transformed.  Since  Mrs.  Bernard  began  her  work 
there,  the  place  has  quite  lost  the  desolate  look  which  used 
to  distinguish  it,  and  is  now  full  of  life  and  cheerful  bustle. 
In  addition  to  the  mill  she  has  built  two  large  schools.  In 
the  upper  school,  more  than  a  hundred  girls  are  being  care- 
fully trained  to  use  not  only  their  heads  but  their  hands  ; 
whilst  in  the  infants'  school,  an  equal  number  of  children  are 
being  fitted  for  their  future  duties  as  half-timers  at  the  mill. 
They  all  take  delight  in  their  work,  and  seem  to  feel  real 
affection  for  the  little  balls  of  wool  they  are  being  taught  to 
handle  ;  and  when  the  time  comes  for  these  two  hundred 
girls  to  leave  school,  each  one  of  them  will  have,  literally  at 
her  finger-ends,  a  profitable  calling.  Already  some  forty  girls 
are  at  work  in  the  mill,  where  they  lead  busy,  useful  lives, 
and  earn  enough  to  keep  themselves,  and  often  their  parents, 
ioo,  from  want. 

Mrs.  Rogers  had  done  much  good  work  in  London  before 
she  began  her  Irish  undertaking.  For  years  she  had  been 
trying  to  render  women  financially  independent  by  putting 
them  in  the  way  of  earning  their  own  livelihood.  At  the 
very  time  the  potato  famine  was  causing  such  terrible  distress 
in  Ireland,  it  chanced  that  a  trading  company  which  she  had 
organized,  received  several  large  orders  for  knitted  gloves. 
Here  was  work,  paying  work  too,  waiting  to  be  done ; 
whilst  in  Ireland  women  were  starving  because  they  had  no 
work  to  do.  Mrs.  Rogers  felt  it  was  an  opportunity  which 
must  not  be  lost,  of  giving  a  helping  hand  to  people  destitute 
through  no  fault  of  their  own.  She  resolved  to  go  to  the 
famine  district,  and  try  to  organize  the  knitting  industry 
there  on  a  regular  basis.  On  the  2/th  of  February,  1880, 
she  set  out  for  Donegal,  taking  with  her  a  lady  who  was 
both  a  skilful  knitter  and  an  expert  in  technical  teaching. 
Mrs.  Rogers'  first  experiences  were  certainly  not  encouraging. 
When  she  arrived  at  Pettigo,  sixteen  miles  from  the  town  of 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  291 

Donegal,  she  found  that  the  railway  went  no  further.  There 
was  neither  food  nor  lodging  to  be  had  in  the  village,  and 
the  only  way  to  Donegal  was  by  a  bridle-path  across 
mountains.  To  make  matters  worse,  a  violent  snowstorm 
was  raging.  Even  when  she  reached  Donegal,  her  troubles 
were  far  from  being  at  an  end  ;  for  obstacles  of  all  kinds 
were  thrown  in  her  way  by  local  tradesmen,  who  were  afraid 
she  would  interfere  with  an  embroidery  industry  for  which 
they  were  the  agents.  At  length,  after  a  fortnight  spent  in  a 
vain  endeavour  to  find  girls  to  undertake  the  knitting,  Mrs. 
Rogers,  almost  in  despair,  appealed  for  counsel  to  the  parish 
priest.  He  warmly  approved  of  her  scheme,  but  advised  her, 
instead  of  staying  in  Donegal  where  the  people  were  tolerably 
well  off,  to  go  to  Carrick,  some  twenty-four  miles  farther  in 
the  country,  where  the  peasants  were  on  the  very  verge  of 
starvation.  In  consequence  of  his  report  she  decided  to 
make  Carrick  her  head-quarters. 

In  those  days  Carrick  was  only  a  dismal,  poverty-stricken 
little  hamlet,  with  nothing  but  bog  and  hills  for  miles  around. 
It  stands  just  at  the  foot  of  the  Sleive  League  Mountain,  in 
the  midst  of  the  wildest  and  most  picturesque  scenery.  To 
all  intents  and  purposes  it  was  then  completely  cut  off  from 
the  outside  world,  for  the  nearest  railway  station  was  at 
Stranorlar,  fully  fifty  miles  away.  At  Carrick,  Mrs.  Rogers 
met  with  a  cordial  welcome  from  Father  Kelly,  who  is  at  once 
the  priest,  lawyer,  and  lawgiver  of  the  district.  He  had  a 
heart-rending  tale  to  tell  of  the  distress  amongst  his  parish- 
ioners. There  was  not  a  girl  in  the  country  side,  he  said, 
but  would  gladly  do  the  knitting,  and  he  undertook  to  have 
a  goodly  array  of  workers  for  her  to  choose  from  by  the 
following  Monday.  From  the  altar  on  the  Sunday  he  ex- 
plained to  his  hearers  what  Mrs.  Rogers  proposed  doing  for 
them,  and  implored  them  to  make  the  most  of  the  chance  she 
was  giving  them. 

The  news  that  there  was  work  to  be  had,  spread  like  wild- 
fire through  the  district ;  and  when,  on  the  Monday  morning, 
Mrs.  Rogers  arrived  at  the  cottage  she  had  hired,  she  found 
it  in  a  state  of  siege.  More  than  a  thousand  women  were 
assembled,  many  of  them  wild  with  excitement — wild,  per- 
haps, with  hunger  too.  The  case  was  one  of  special  difficulty, 

292  Woman's  Mission. 

for  hardly  one  of  these  peasants  could  understand  a  word  of 
English,  and  neither  Mrs.  Rogers  nor  her  companion  could 
speak  Irish.  Fortunately,  just  when  the  confusion  was  at  its 
highest,  and  the  crush  was  becoming  dangerous,  Father 
Kelly  arrived,  speedily  cleared  the  women  from  the  house, 
and  mounted  guard  over  them  outside.  The  cottage  con- 
tained four  rooms,  and  into  each  one  of  them,  when  something 
like  order  was  restored,  twelve  women  were  admitted,  there 
to  be  initiated  into  the  mysteries  of  knitting.  It  was  soon 
clear  that  none  of  them  had  any  idea  even  of  putting  stitches 
on  the  needles.  The  whole  of  the  first  day,  therefore,  was 
taken  up  teaching  this  very  elementary  process.  So  soon  as 
one  girl  could  cast  the  stitches,  she  was  provided  with  needles 
and  wool,  and  sent  home  to  practise,  whilst  another  took  her 
place.  But  the  work  advanced  very  slowly,  for  all  the  in- 
struction had  to  be  given  through  an  interpreter ;  and  at 
nightfall,  hundreds  of  women  were  still  standing  there  in  the 
cold,  waiting  for  their  first  lesson.  The  Irish  are,  however, 
a  good-natured,  long-suffering  race ;  and  not  a  word  of 
complaint  was  heard.  They  trudged  off  to  their  cabins  on 
the  hills  again,  vowing  they  would  be  amongst  the  first  at 
the  cottage  the  next  morning. 

Day  after  day  the  same  scene  was  repeated.  Crowds  of 
women  stood  waiting  from  morning  till  night  for  this  knitting, 
which  was  to  keep  the  wolf  from  the  door.  Unluckily,  their 
very  eagerness  for  the  work  only  increased  the  difficulty  of 
showing  them  how  to  do  it.  They  were  so  wild  and  boisterous 
in  their  ways,  that  the  task  of  teaching  them  seemed  hope- 
less. It  is  no  easy  thing  to  knit  gloves  ;  in  the  special  kind 
Mrs.  Rogers  required,  wool  of  three  different  colours  had  to 
be  used,  and  the  shaping  of  the  thumbs  and  fingers  was  quite 
an  elaborate  business.  It  was  work,  in  fact,  that  needed 
some  amount  of  technical  skill ;  and  potato-hoeing  was  all 
these  people  had  been  accustomed  to.  At  the  end  of  a 
week  of  ceaseless  toil,  the  wrist  of  one  glove  was  all  that 
had  been  achieved  !  Little  wonder  both  teachers  and  taught 
felt  inclined  to  despair.  The  former  could  see  nothing  but 
difficulties  before  them,  whilst  the  latter  were  weighed  down 
by  the  thought  that  what  they  were  trying  to  learn  was 
unlearnable.  During  this  depressing  time,  when  her  under- 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  293 

taking  seemed  doomed,  Mrs.  Rogers  found  an  invaluable 
auxiliary  in  Father  Kelly,  who  spent  his  days  striving  to  keep 
the  women  to  their  work  by  "  threats,  bribes,  and  kindly 
words  of  encouragement"  Sunday  after  Sunday  an  odd 
little  scene  was  enacted  in  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  :  the 
priest  in  full  canonicals  stood  by  the  altar  and  solemnly 
announced  a  list  of  prizes  to  be  competed  for.  Five  shillings 
was  promised  to  the  woman  who  should  first  knit  a  creditable 
thumb ;  two  and  sixpence  for  a  well-shaped  finger,  and 
a  whole  sovereign  for  the  first  glove.  Every  sermon  he 
preached,  too,  was  an  earnest  exhortation  to  perseverance. 
Still  it  was  three  months  before  a  single  pair  of  gloves  was 
made,  and  during  that  time  Mrs.  Rogers  had  spent  ,£100  on 
her  undertaking. 

The  first  six  months  were  certainly  a  terrible  struggle,  and 
then  things  began  to  look  brighter  ;  some  of  the  girls  became 
wonderfully  deft  at  the  work,  and,  besides  knitting  gloves 
themselves,  helped  to  teach  their  companions  to  knit  them. 
Soon  huge  packets  of  goods  were  sent  off  to  London,  and 
in  the  course  of  a  year  ;£iooo  was  paid  to  the  women  in 
wages.  A  thousand  pounds  is  not  a  large  sum,  but  at  Carrick 
money  went  far,  and  to  those  among  whom  it  was  divided 
it  made  all  the  difference  between  starvation  and  comfort. 
For  two  years  the  women  were  kept  busily  employed  knitting 
gloves  ;  then  a  change  of  fashion  came  ;  knitted  gloves  were 
no  longer  in  demand,  and  Mrs.  Rogers  had  to  find  some  other 
occupation  for  her  protegees.  In  the  course  of  a  very  few 
weeks  she  entirely  reorganized  their  work,  and  put  them  in 
the  way  of  making  knitted  underclothing  for  children. 

Carrick  is  now  a  very  different  place  from  what  it  was  when 
Mrs.  Rogers  made  her  first  visit  there.  It  has  developed 
into  quite  a  thriving  little  town,  with  a  singularly  prosperous 
air  about  it.  Well-built  cottages  have  replaced  many  of  the 
miserable  huts  which  used  to  stand  there,  and  even  shops 
with  plate-glass  windows — an  unfailing  sign  of  material 
progress — have  appeared  of  late.  Though  the  people  still 
retain  all  their  simple  primitive  ways,  few  signs  of  real 
poverty  are  to  be  seen  in  the  district. 

In  1888  Sir  Henry  Roscoe  appealed  to  Mrs.  Rogers  to 
do  for  Connemara  what  she  had  already  done  for  Carrick. 

294  Woman's  Mission. 

All  around  Carna  there  was  terrible  distress,  and  against  it 
the  late  Father  Flannery— the  famous  "  Father  Tom "  of 
Carna,  whose  name  will  live  in  the  hearts  of  his  grateful 
people  for  many  a  long  day — was  fighting  almost  single- 
handed.  After  some  hesitation  Mrs.  Rogers  went  to  his 
assistance,  and  at  Carna  established,  notwithstanding  many 
difficulties  and  discouragements,  a  knitting  industry  for  the 
benefit  of  the  women,  on  the  same  lines  as  the  one  she 
had  already  organized  at  Carrick. 

Miss  Dorothea  Roberts,  of  Berry  Hill,  Mansfield,  has 
founded  a  knitting  industry  which  provides  employment  for 
some  hundreds  of  poor  women,  in  that  wild  north-west 
corner  of  Ireland,  called  locally  "  the  Rosses."  Ross,  in  the 
Irish  language,  means  "headland."  "Our  Rosses,"  Miss 
Roberts  writes,  "stretch  out  into  the  Atlantic  like  the  fingers 
of  some  giant  hand.  America,  we  say,  is  our  '  next  parish.' 
The  great  New  World  seems  all  the  closer  because  there  is 
not  a  family  in  our  parish  which  has  not  some  of  its  members 
living  there,  across  the  wild  Atlantic  billows.  By  that  stern 
seaboard  the  harvest  of  the  land  is  scanty,  grown  only  on 
such  washings  of  soil  as  can  accumulate  in  cups  between  big, 
rolling,  stony  mountains.  The  harvest  of  the  sea,  rich  as  it  is, 
remains  ungathered  for  the  most  part,  awaiting  such  generous 
help  as  that  which  has  turned  Baltimore,  in  the  county  of 
Cork,  into  a  busy  hive  of  industry.  For  half  a  century  past 
the  Rosses  women  have  been  excellent  knitters.  The  late 
Lord  George  Hill,  and  Mr.  Forster,  his  agent,  greatly  en- 
couraged this  work  by  industrial  shows  and  prize-giving  in 
the  neighbouring  parish  of  Gweedore. 

"Ten  years  ago  the  excellent  parish  priest  of  the  Rosses, 
Father  B.  Walker,  received  my  first  hanks  of  wool,  which  he 
promptly  returned  to  me,  in  London,  knitted  into  shapely 
stockings.  The  work  begun  by  me  in  so  small  a  way  has 
grown  and  flourished  by  the  kind  help  of  sympathizers  all 
over  Great  Britain.  Our  parish  lies  remote  from  the  Donegal 
centres  where  agents  give  out  yarns  for  Scottish  and  other 
hosiers.  Those  beneficent  new  railways,  which  I  see  opening 
up  whole  'congested'  districts  elsewhere,  can  scarcely  climb 
over  our  rugged  mountains,  or  cross  the  long  fiords  which 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Indus  fry.  295 

wind  up  amongst  the  cliffs  of  our  western  seaboard.  The 
Parcel  Post  is  our  main  dependence  at  present,  both  for 
delivery  of  yarns  and  export  of  goods. 

"  The  eager,  barefooted,  Irish-speaking  women,  who  crowd 
in  from  remote  islands  to  my  agent  when  the  news  of  the 
coming  of  a  bale  of  wool  has  spread,  are  quick  to  seize  new 
ideas,  and  very  quick  with  their  fingers,  too." 

Miss  Roberts  has  for  ten  years  past  been  able  to  pay  on 
an  average  £10  a  month  in  wages  ;  and  has  recently  executed 
an  order  for  thirteen  thousand  pairs  of  army  socks.  The 
particularly  fine  work  done  by  the  knitters  is  purchased  by 
persons  all  over  England  from  Miss  Roberts,  who  adds,  "  It 
has  been  touching  to  me  to  meet  with  such  kind  help  from 
people  of  all  ranks,  creeds,  and  parties,  for  by  their  means 
alone  I  have  been  able  to  keep  up  this  work — the  best  help 
of  our  poor  district." 

We  must  now  shift  the  scene  to  a  distant  but  not  less 
interesting  country,  where  Mrs.  Arthur  Hanson's  work  at 
Constantinople,  for  the  Turkish  refugees,  must  certainly  be 
ranked  among  the  most  remarkable  and  successful  efforts 
made  by  individual  women  of  this  century  for  the  welfare  of 
their  fellow-beings.  Here,  again,  the  motto  adopted  is,  "  Not 
alms,  but  work  ; "  and  seldom  has  the  truly  philanthropic 
desire  of  aiding  those  who  would  be  otherwise  absolutely 
destitute,  to  help  themselves,  been  followed  by  greater  good 
or  more  far-reaching  results.  No  less  than  two  thousand 
Turkish  women  and  children  are  at  the  present  time  enabled 
to  gain  an  honourable  living,  while,  owing  to  the  wise  manage- 
ment of  Mrs.  Hanson,  a  fund  is  also  maintained  out  of  the 
earnings  for  the  support  of  those  stricken  down  by  age  or 

The  origin  of  this  work  is  peculiar  and  historic.  Fifteen 
years  ago  Turkey  had  been  desolated  by  a  terrible  war. 
Before  the  Russian  armies,  advancing  in  a  line  which  stretched 
from  Varna  to  Sofia,  the  whole  Turkish  population  of  Bulgaria 
and  Roumelia  had  fled  from  their  homes  in  terrified  haste, 
snatching  up  such  scanty  provisions  and  small  household 
treasures  as  they  could  carry  on  their  journey.  Amidst 
scenes  of  indescribable  misery  and  suffering,  Mr.  Burdett- 

296  Woman  s  Mission. 

Coutts  had  carried  on  an  extended  system  of  temporary 
relief  in  his  capacity  as  Special  Commissioner  of  the  Turkish 
Compassionate  Fund,  which  was  raised  in  England  for  the 
special  relief  of  the  refugees,  as  the  Stafford  House  Fund  was 
for  the  wounded  soldiers.  As  long  as  the  Russian  armies 
kept  to  the  north  of  the  Balkans,  the  centres  of  distribution 
were  mainly  in  the  country. 

The  defeat  of  the  Turks  at  Orkhanie  and  the  capture  of 
the  Schipka  Pass,  was  the  signal  for  a  sauve  qui pent  through- 
out the  fertile  provinces  to  the  south  of  the  Balkan  range. 
All  the  roads  to  Constantinople  were  crowded  with  long 
trains  of  refugees.  A  vast  number  died  of  starvation  and 
the  cold  of  a  bitter  winter ;  but  something  like  a  quarter  of 
a  million  reached  Constantinople  in  a  terrible  condition  of 
destitution,  and  were  housed  on  the  floors  of  the  numerous 
mosques  in  Stamboul,  at  all  times  a  teeming  and  overcrowded 
city.  There  they  were  fed  by  thousands  every  day  by  the 
Commissioner  of  the  Fund.  The  Turkish  officials  were  also 
most  humane  in  their  treatment  of  the  hapless  wretches,  and 
the  higher  authorities  did  all  in  their  power  to  provide  for 
their  wants  by  distributing  food  and  raiment;  and  as  Mr. 
Burdett-Coutts  says,  "  His  Majesty  the  Sultan  throughout 
evinced  the  deepest  commiseration  for  his  unhappy  people, 
and  did  all  in  his  power  to  assist  them."  But  little  could  be 
done  by  those  who  with  one  hand  had  to  ward  off  the  attack 
of  the  advancing  Russians,  while  with  the  other  they  tried  to 
help  their  victims  to  escape  from  them. 

Among  the  small  possessions  to  which  the  women  had 
clung  to  the  last  were  the  old  embroideries  of  Turkey,  many 
of  which  had  been  precious  heirlooms  in  their  families. 
Some  of  the  women  retained  the  rare  art  of  making  these 
embroideries.  It  occurred  to  Mrs.  Arthur  Hanson,  one  of 
the  leading  English  ladies  in  Constantinople,  that  the  art 
might  be  revived,  the  old  beautiful  colours  reproduced, 
and  a  useful  industry  established  among  these  unfortunate 
women,  many  of  whom  had  been  wealthy  and  comfortable. 
After  the  resources  of  the  fund  already  named  had  been 
strained  to  their  utmost  in  saving  these  refugees  from 
starvation,  a  small  balance  still  remained  in  hand.  Upon 
this  slender  foundation,  coupled  with  Mrs.  Hanson's  wonder- 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  297 

ful  energy,  the  industry  was  at  first  built  up ;  employment 
was  provided  for  the  refugee  women  who  were  skilled 
workers  ;  instruction  and  a  means  of  livelihood  were  afforded 
to  the  ignorant  and  young ;  and  the  new  supplies  of'  the 
beautiful  Turkish  embroideries  found  a  ready  market  in  the 
great  cities  of  Western  Europe.  Portions  of  the  money 
advanced  for  these  purposes  were  repaid  as  the  undertaking 
grew  and  prospered  under  the  energetic  and  wise  control  of 
Mrs.  Hanson ;  and  the  fund  still  exists,  and  by  supplying 
Mrs.  Hanson  with  working  capital  has  been  a  source  of 
incalculable  benefit  to  thousands  of  the  most  helpless 
victims  of  a  terrible  war. 

From  the  first  Mrs.  Hanson's  work  prospered.  Its 
success  is  due  to  two  causes  :  first,  to  the  untiring  energy, 
patience,  great  organizing,  administering,  business  capacity, 
and  artistic  taste  of  Mrs.  Hanson,  who  has  devoted  her  life 
to  the  promotion  of  the  moral  and  material  welfare  of  the 
Turkish  refugees ;  and  secondly,  to  the  superb  quality  of 
the  embroideries  produced.  In  every  department  of  art 
embroideries,  the  products  of  Mrs.  Hanson's  frames  are 
unrivalled.  The  work,  as  visitors  to  the  Chicago  Exhibition 
may  see  for  themselves,  is  the  most  beautiful  of  modern 
times.  In  the  admirable  report  upon  the  industry  which  has 
been  kindly  supplied  to  me  by  Miss  Constance  Eaglestone, 
and  from  which  I  have  already  quoted,  she  says,  "The 
charm  of  this  Turkish  embroidery  consists  in  the  originality 
as  well  as  the  beauty  of  the  designs.  Many  of  these  have 
been  handed  down  from  generation  to  generation  in  the 
Turkish  harems,  and  so  jealously  were  they  guarded  as 
heirlooms,  that  had  not  the  fortunes  of  war  brought  the 
princesses  from  palaces  in  the  Balkans  down  to  the  level  of 
the  peasant  women  in  huts  at  their  gates,  the  secret  of  their 
creation  would  never  have  been  divulged.  Other  patterns 
have  been  copied  from  designs  of  Eighth  Century  work 
collected  by  Mr.  Wrench,  British  Vice-Consul  at  Constanti- 
nople ;  some,  again,  are  from  scrolls  and  arabesques  in  early 
mosques  of  different  parts  of  the  Ottoman  Empire,  and 
among  these  may  be  specially  mentioned  those  from  the 
enamels  of  the  historic  Green  Mosque  of  Broussa,  to  enter 
which,  until  a  few  decades  ago,  was  death  to  any  but  a 

298  Womaris  Mission. 

Mussulman.  Others  are  believed  to  be  the  exact  counterpart 
of  the  embroideries  alluded  to  in  the  Books  of  Moses  as 
covering  the  robes  which  the  priests  wore  during  the  services 
in  the  Temple,  and  must,  therefore,  have  come  into  the  hands 
of  this  race  from  another  of  far  greater  antiquity,  while  the 
possession  of  them  by  the  Osmanli  is  easily  explained  by 
their  triumphant  progress  through  Western  Asia  before  they 
established  themselves  on  the  Bosphorus  in  1453.  Nor  has 
the  attraction  of  modern  art  been  wanting  to  bring  this  work 
still  nearer  to  perfection.  When  the  Parisian  dealers  saw 
how  popular  the  Oriental  embroidery  was  becoming  through- 
out France,  they  made  useful  suggestions  for  the  yet  more 
artistic  combination  of  the  colours  employed,  and  sent  some 
of  their  own  lovely  textiles  of  silk  and  gauze  to  serve  as  a 
foundation,  instead  of  the  coarser  fabrics  which  had  hitherto 
been  used."  Another  property  of  the  embroideries  is  that 
they  are  as  durable  as  they  are  beautiful.  They  never  fade, 
and  the  gold  used  in  them  never  tarnishes,  not  even  when 
exposed  to  the  damp  of  the  English  climate. 

"  The  Ottoman  race  itself,"  Miss  Eaglestone  adds,  "  has 
little  or  no  inventive  power.  The  refugee  women  could 
bring  out  their  woven  treasures  which  they  had  concealed 
about  their  persons  when  they  fled  from  their  Bulgarian 
homes,  but  they  can  do  nothing  but  copy  from  the  model  set 
before  them,  while  orders  to  make  even  the  slightest  alteration 
in  it  only  bewilder  them.  When  new  ideas  are  to  be  intro- 
duced, Mrs.  Hanson,  or  her  helpers,  must  patiently  guide  the 
willing  but  errant  ringers,  stitch  by  stitch,  through  the  frame 
that  supports  the  dainty  mesh,  until  the  secret  has  been  made 
the  worker's  own.  Another  difficulty  is,  that  having  once 
learnt  a  new  stitch  the  women  seem  to  lose  all  power  of 
remembering  an  old  one.  '  It  is  gone,  gone,'  they  repeat 
hopelessly,  when  the  enigma  that  they  could  have  solved 
with  closed  eyes  a  week  before  is  laid  before  them  ;  thus  it  is 
a  serious  undertaking  to  lead  a  skilled  worker  away  from  the 
design  which  her  lithe  brown  fingers  have  made  popular  at 
every  Court  of  Europe." 

The  work  which  this  paper  has  described  is  essentially 
individual.  In  each  case  it  has  been  by  personal  exertions, 
by  personal  thought  and  labour,  that  help  and  comfort  have 

Woman  the  Missionary  of  Industry.  299 

been  brought  to  those  in  need  and  distress.  There  could  be 
no  more  striking  evidence  of  the  far-reaching  results  being 
achieved  through  the  wisely-directed  efforts  of  individual 
women,  than  is  furnished  by  the  story  I  have  briefly  sketched 
of  how  these  four  notable  industries  were  established  in  the 
face  of  overwhelming  odds.  It  is  a  noble  record  of  difficulties 
overcome,  of  circumstances  conquered,  of  suffering  relieved. 
Thousands  of  lives  have  been  made  happier,  thousands  of 
hearts  have  been  cheered,  and  thousands  of  souls  aroused 
to  higher  and  nobler  aspirations. 

Woman's  Mission. 

BY  Miss  MARY  L.  G.  PETRIE,  B.A.  LOND. 

John  Stuart  Mill  Scholar  in  Philosophy^  University  College,  London  ; 
Author  of  "  Ctovs  to  Holy  Writ." 

THE  reports  that  it  has  been  possible  to  collect  for  the  Chicago 
Exhibition  under  the  heading  of  "  Philanthropic  Education  " 
seemed  at  first  sight,  when  I  was  asked  to  make  them  the 
basis  of  a  Congress  Paper,  as  fortuitous  a  concourse  of  atoms 
as  ever  gravitated  to  a  centre.  Seeking  for  common  charac- 
teristics, I  observed  first  that  all  described  schemes  whereby 
in  the  battle  of  life  the  rich  may  help  the  poor.  I  use  the 
old-fashioned  expression  deliberately,  as  more  applicable 
to  present  conditions  than  the  ancient  phrase  "gentle  and 
simple,"  and  truer  to  the  facts  of  life  than  the  arrogant 
modern  division  of  mankind  into  "  upper  and  lower  classes." 
We  speak  here  of  rich  and  poor,  not  only  in  money  and  what 
money  can  buy,  but  in  skill  and  knowledge,  in  leisure  and 
friends,  in  mental  and  moral  power. 

Secondly,  I  observed  that  the  various  devices  described, 
by  which  the  one  may  aid  the  other,  are  all  of  them  new, 
and  many  of  them  very  new.  Our  fathers  lived  happy  and 
creditable  lives  before  the  mania  for  shaping  and  joining 
societies,  associations,  guilds,  unions,  and  leagues  for  the 
amelioration  of  society,  arose.  Are  they,  therefore,  mere 
fads  and  superfluities  of  an  age  of  peace  and  luxury  ?  Nay. 
Three  features  in  the  life  of  to-day  seem  abundantly  to 
justify  their  existence. 

First,  the  rising  standard  of  comfort.  As  we  move  either 
geographically  or  chronologically  from  a  lower  to  a  higher 
civilization,  we  observe  that  a  larger  and  larger  number  of 

Serving  One  Another.  301 

men  are  dissatisfied  with  themselves  and  their  surroundings. 
Indeed,  the  motive  power  of  all  civilization  has  been  well 
defined  as  "progressive  desire."  A  need  felt  for  the  first 
time  is  not,  therefore,  an  unreal  one,  and  to-day  we  need 
many  things  that  our  fathers  neither  had  nor  missed. 

Secondly,  the  increasing  division  of  labour.  Here  we 
speak  not  of  satisfying  a  new  craving,  but  of  replacing 
something  of  value  that  would  otherwise  be  altogether 
lost.  The  application  of  machinery  to  almost  every  depart- 
ment of  labour  tends  to  divide  it  more  and  more,  and  con- 
sequently to  reduce  the  labourer  more  and  more  to  a  machine. 
The  artisan  of  the  past,  who  brought  the  bit  of  work  he  had 
begun  to  the  highest  perfection  that  he  knew,  found  an  interest 
and  an  education  in  doing  it,  which  his  descendant  does  not 
find  in  the  monotonous  repetition  of  a  single  act.  The  agri- 
cultural labourer  of  the  past,  who  depended  on  his  own  eye 
and  hand  for  the  unswerving  furrow  or  the  neatly  felled  sheaf, 
developed  aptitudes  which  his  successor  who  rides  a  machine 
is  without.  A  multitude  of  unremembered  artists  made  our 
ancient  cathedrals  glorious  with  lavish  carving.  Nowadays 
even  our  aesthetic  needs  are  to  a  large  extent  gratified  by 
wholly  mechanical  processes.  It  is  good  that  the  humblest 
cottages  should  be  hung  with  chromo-lithographed  copies  of 
good  pictures,  but  the  production  of  these  copies  draws  out  no 
artistic  faculties  in  their  producers.  Thanks,  however,  to  the 
good  artificial  light  which  modern  inventions  supply,  the 
ploughman  or  factory  "hand  "  has  an  evening  that  his  ances- 
tor had  not,  in  which  the  day's  dull  toil  may  be  supplemented 
by  the  carving  class  or  instructive  lecture,  calling  out  powers 
that  would  otherwise  remain  undeveloped. 

Thirdly,  the  growing  tendency  towards  separation  of  class 
from  class.  "  Our  greatest  industrial  danger,"  said  the  Bishop 
of  Durham  lately,  "lies  in  the  want  of  mutual  confidence 
between  employers  and  employed.  Confidence  is  of  slow 
growth.  It  comes  most  surely  through  equal  intercourse." 
The  descendant  of  the  apprentice  who  lived  under  his 
master's  roof,  now  receives  his  wages  from  an  employer  who 
does  not  know  his  name.  In  many  of  our  great  towns,  rich 
and  poor  do  not  even  meet  on  Sundays  before  their  common 
Maker.  The  employers  dwell  in  a  handsome  new  suburb. 

302  Woman  s  Mission. 

and  swell  the  well-dressed  congregation  of  a  new  church. 
The  employed  herd  in  the  older  part  of  the  city,  and  form 
parishes  where,  as  an  East  End  London  vicar  lately  expressed 
it,  "  every  lady  cleans  her  own  doorstep."  No  wonder,  there- 
fore, that  in  our  days  social  questions  are  in  the  forefront, 
and  "the  human  heart  by  which  we  live"  demands  new 
means  of  bringing  together  those  who  would  otherwise  be 
utterly  separated  in  all  relations  outside  of  business,  to  their 
great  mutual  loss.  We  need  (I  again  quote  Dr.  Westcott)  "  to 
hallow  large  means  by  the  sense  of  large  responsibility," 
"  to  provide  that  labour  in  every  form  may  be  made  the 
discipline  of  noble  character." 

Limits  of  space  only  permit  me  to  illustrate,  and  not  to 
enumerate,  the  various  agencies  at  work  in  this  direction. 
Dealing  with  them  according  to  an  ascending  scale  of  human 
needs,  let  us  take  first  those  that  aim  at  imparting  skill,  at 
making  the  hand  cunning,  as  regards  the  food  we  eat, 
looking  at  efforts  in  an  English  city  and  an  English  rural 
district ;  the  clothing  we  wear,  looking  at  an  effort  in  the 
Scottish  Highlands  ;  the  appliances  we  use  in  our  daily  life, 
looking  at  London,  a  Scottish  and  an  English  village,  and 
two  English  provincial  towns.  We  then  pass  to  schemes 
combining  all  three  aims  or  two  of  them  together,  again 
drawing  our  illustrations  from  both  Scotland  and  England. 

It  is  the  public-house  that  fills  the  workhouse  and  the 
prison  ;  and  the  public-house  is  too  often  filled  by  the 
mismanaged  home,  the  badly  chosen  and  worse  cooked  meal. 
When,  therefore,  a  girl  acquires  practical  skill  in  cookery,  she 
not  only  fits  herself  for  the  comfortable  and  well-paid 
calling  of  a  first-class  domestic  servant  instead  of  the 
comfortless  and  ill-paid  calling  of  an  unskilled  factory  hand, 
but  she  diminishes  her  risk  of  becoming  the  hapless  wife  of  a 
drunkard.  Board  Schools  had,  however,  been  in  existence 
more  than  ten  years  before  the  Government  recognized  that 
cookery  should  be  regularly  taught  in  them.  Private  enter- 
prise preceded  Government  action,  in  training  teachers  for  this 
subject  and  in  forming  schools  of  cookery  in  London,  Leeds, 
Edinburgh,  and  Glasgow.  To  Miss  Fanny  Calder's  initiative 
is  owing  the  Liverpool  Training  School  of  Cookery  and 
the  Northern  Union  of  Schools  of  Cookery,  and  Government 

Serving  One  Another.  303 

recognition  both  of  cookery  and  laundry-work  is  due  to 
her  vigorous  and  victorious  struggle  with  the  Education 
Department.  Private  enterprise  must  supplement  Govern- 
ment action  also,  in  continuing  the  training  when  school 
is  over,  or  giving  it  then  to  those  who  have  attended 
schools  for  which  teachers  of  cookery  could  not  be  provided. 

Classes  for  cookery  and  domestic  economy  in  Wiltshire 
and  Dorsetshire  were  founded  by  Mrs.  Bell  in  1889.  The 
Bishop  of  Salisbury  suggested  this  scheme,  which  works 
through  the  organization  of  the  Girls'  Friendly  Society.  It 
began  with  a  grant  of  £10,  and  gave  during  the  next  two 
years  between  fifty  and  sixty  courses  of  lessons  in  cookery 
and  laundry-work  to  girls  fresh  from  school.  Eventually  it 
was  affiliated  to  the  Northern  Union  of  Schools  of  Cookery. 

In  days  of  old  every  woman,  as  the  term  "spinster"  still 
indicates,  "sought  wool  and  flax  and  worked  willingly  with  her 
hands,"  and  no  part  of  the  world  produced  more  characteristic 
and  interesting  fabrics  than  the  Scottish  Highlands.  But 
when  the  machine-made  goods  of  our  great  centres  of 
industry  were  distributed  by  road,  and  especially  by  railroad, 
to  the  remotest  corners  of  the  kingdom,  native  homespun  was 
in  danger  of  being  altogether  discarded  for  cheaper  but  less 
durable  and  becoming  raiment.  The  insight  to  recognize 
the  value  of  these  native  industries,  the  sympathy  to  under- 
stand their  usefulness  and  profitableness  to  the  peasants,  and 
the  skill  and  patience  to  initiate  and  perpetuate  a  scheme  for 
their  resuscitation  ere  it  was  too  late,  were  found  in  three 
successive  Duchesses  of  Sutherland.  Forty-four  years  ago, 
Harriet,  Duchess  of  Sutherland,  the  beautiful  daughter  of 
the  Earl  of  Carlisle,  and  Queen  Victoria's  chosen  friend, 
organized  an  Industrial  Society  at  Golspie,  a  little  town  on 
the  south-east  coast  of  Sutherlandshire,  close  to  her  High- 
land home,  Dunrobin  Castle.  Four  hundred  people  attended 
its  first  exhibition  in  September,  1850,  and  prizes  to  the 
value  of  ;£io  were  awarded  to  the  fancy  tartans,  tweeds, 
plaids,  blankets,  and  hose  exhibited.  For  several  years,  a 
similar  annual  exhibition  was  held  in  a  pavilion  erected  for 
the  purpose,  until  it  was  no  longer  in  the  Duchess's  power  to 
give  such  active  evidence  of  her  regard  for  the  welfare  of  the 
Highlands.  But  the  Scottish  wife  of  her  eldest  son — who 

304  Womatis  Mission. 

was  Countess  of  Cromartie  in  her  own  right — became  the 
patron  of  a  second  series  of  exhibitions,  of  which  the  first  was 
held  in  August,  1886.  The  sales  realized  over  £200,  and 
£30  was  given  in  prizes.  The  present  Duke  of  Sutherland, 
then  Marquis  of  Stafford,  had  recently  married  Lady  Millicent 
St.  Clair  Erskine,  daughter  of  the  Earl  of  Rosslyn,  and  she, 
supported  by  many  other  ladies  well-known  in  Scotland,  and 
aided  by  Miss  Joass,  the  indefatigable  secretary  of  the  High- 
land Home  Industries,  has  from  the  first  thrown  her  whole 
heart  into  this  work.  In  1887,  the  exhibition  at  Golspie  repre- 
sented the  whole  of  Sutherland,  and  men's  carvings  were  added 
to  women's  spinnings,  sales  and  prizes  bringing  the  exhibitors 
over  ^377.  In  1888,  it  was  transferred  to  the  Town  Hall  of 
Inverness,  and  not  only  the  number  and  variety,  but  the 
quality  of  the  articles  exhibited,  indicated  the  progress  made. 
The  exhibitors  gained  about  £400,  and  received  orders  enough 
to  keep  them  busy  throughout  the  following  winter.  Two 
months  later,  on  November  25th,  Anne,  Duchess  of  Suther- 
land, to  whose  patriotic  zeal  and  untiring  effort  this  success 
was  largely  due,  entered  into  rest.  The  1889  Exhibition  was 
held  in  the  Earl  of  Dudley's  London  house,  opened  by 
Princess  Louise,  Marchioness  of  Lome,  and  presided  over 
by  the  Countess  of  Rosebery.  Over  £600  was  realized,  the 
exhibits  coming  from  many  parts  of  Scotland,  and  equally 
successful  sales  were  held  at  Inverness  and  London  in  1890 
and  1891.  Out  of  this  pioneer  scheme  in  Sutherlandshire, 
other  schemes  have  grown,  such  as  those  at  Beaufort  and 
Gairloch,  and  Lady  Dunmore's  work  in  Harris.  The  time- 
honoured  distaff  and  spinning-wheel  reject  altogether  the 
inferior  materials  which  undiscriminating  machines  turn  into 
shoddy,  and  amply  vindicate  both  the  artistic  and  the  useful 
qualities  of  hand-work. 

That  civilization  means  more,  even  for  the  poorest,  than 
mere  "  creature  comfort,"  was  the  thought  that  led  a  woman 
to  organize,  in  1885,  the  Home  Arts  and  Industries  Associa- 
tion. Its  fourfold  aim  is  to  train  eye  and  hand,  and  thus 
fit  for  many  callings  ;  to  fill  the  idle  hours  of  working  people 
happily  ;  to  foster  sympathetic  intercourse  between  rich  and 
poor  ;  and  to  revive  good  old  handicrafts.  Its  classes,  to 
the  number  of  between  four  and  five  hundred,  are  held  all 

Serving  One  Another.  305 

over  the  country  for  lads  and  girls  and  men,  chiefly  by  lady 
volunteers,  and  the  London  central  office,  which  is  managed 
by  a  female  staff,  supplies  these  classes  with  suitable  designs, 
and  organizes  instruction  for  their  teachers.  Their  pupils 
are  drawn  from  the  ranks  of  unskilled  as  well  as  of  skilled 
labour,  and  are  always  forthcoming  in  large  numbers.  The 
street-Arab  who  came  at  first  "just  for  a  lark,"  comes  again 
and  yet  again  for  the  growing  interest  of  the  work,  and  it  has 
its  own  quiet  influence  in  civilizing  him.  Moreover,  this 
unostentatious  work  must  develop  some  of  the  latent  artistic 
talent  that  here  as  elsewhere  only  waits  to  be  called  out,  and 
do  something  to  remove  the  reproach  that  in  matters  artistic 
we  are  an  uneducated  nation,  a  reproach  justified  not  only 
by  the  vulgar  delights  of  "  the  masses,"  but  by  the  prevalent 
drawing-room  "  art  criticism  "  of  "  the  classes." 

A  wood-carving  class  for  working  lads,  in  Ratcliff,  one 
of  the  poorest  parts  of  East  London,  was  organized  in  1884 
by  the  Hon.  Beatrice  de  Grey,  and  is  now  carried  on  by  the 
Hon.  Odeyne  de  Grey,  her  sister,  and  Miss  Gertrude  D. 
Pennant.  The  class  meets  for  two  hours  one  evening  a  week, 
from  November  or  December  till  July  every  year.  Four  out 
of  the  six  lads  who  originally  formed  it  are  now  working  in 
it  as  men. 

From  eleven  to  seventeen  men  have  availed  themselves  of 
a  class  which  Lady  Grisell  Baillie  Hamilton  and  her  sister 
have,  during  three  years,  held  in  Scotland  for  two  hours  twice 
a  week,  throughout  the  four  winter  months.  They  pay  a 
small  fee  to  cover  expense  of  warming  and  lighting  the  barn 
in  which  they  meet,  and  gladly  buy  their  own  tools.  The 
picture-frames,  hanging  cupboards,  bookcases,  etc.,  which  they 
make  they  prefer  to  keep  rather  than  to  sell.  Apart  from 
the  technical  skill  gained,  they  benefit  by  the  awakening  of 
interest  and  effort  in  connection  with  something  quite  outside 
the  ordinary  routine  of  their  lives. 

In  1889  Miss  A.  E.  Maude  formed  a  class  for  the  villagers 
of  Drayton,  Somerset,  in  order  to  provide  them  with  profitable 
occupation  when  the  weather  forbids  outdoor  work.  Observ- 
ing that  most  of  the  other  Home  Arts  and  Industries  Classes 
chose  wood-carving,  she  was  enterprising  enough  to  take  up 
ironwork  instead.  The  zest  with  which  the  men  and  boys, 


306  Woman  s  Mission. 

whom  she  teaches  every  Wednesday  evening  during  the 
winter,  handle  the  pliers,  and  labour  at  the  forge  and 
the  anvil,  and  the  ready  sale  found  for  the  lamps,  kettles, 
screens,  brackets,  and  candlesticks  produced  have  amply 
justified  her  choice.  Gifts  from  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts, 
the  Somerset  County  Council,  and  the  Ironmongers  Company 
enabled  them  to  furnish  their  workshop  in  the  first  instance, 
and  it  is  now  open  every  evening  all  the  year  round.  Over 
400  articles  made  by  her  pupils  have  been  sold  since  the 
class  was  formed,  and  they  have  won  the  bronze  medal  of  the 
Recreative  Evening  Schools  Association,  and  the  "Gold 
Star"  of  the  Home  Arts  and  Industries  Exhibition  in 

The  Working  Lads'  Institute  at  Torquay,  Devonshire, 
founded  about  1886,  offers  to  lads  between  twelve  and 
eighteen  years  of  age  recreation  and  education,  brightens 
their  lives  by  human  kindness,  and  brings  them  under  moral 
and  religious  influence.  Its  bent  iron  and  repousse  classes 
are  self-supporting.  Their  products  are  sold  at  industrial 
exhibitions  and  privately ;  half  the  profits  pay  all  expenses, 
the  other  half  is  a  welcome  addition  to  the  lads'  earnings, 
and  Miss  G.  Phillpotts  states  that  the  classes  also  form  a 
training  school  of  good  manners. 

In  1890  a  class  for  brass  repousse  work  was  formed  at 
Bournemouth  by  Miss  Edith  H.  G.  Wingfield  Digby.  A 
higher  motive  than  either  love  of  art  or  love  of  gain  led  eight 
men  there,  chiefly  artisans,  to  give  some  ten  hours  a  week  to 
brass-work.  Missionary  zeal  had  been  kindled  at  the  Bible 
class  they  attended,  and  the  proceeds  of  their  work,  whose 
high  artistic  merit  may  be  judged  from  the  specimens  sent 
to  Chicago,  redeemed  a  little  Chinese  girl  from  slavery,  and 
afterwards  helped  to  pay  for  her  maintenance  and  Christian 
education  in  the  Jubilee  School  of  the  Church  Missionary 
Society  at  Hong  Kong.  Certificates  of  merit  have  been 
awarded  to  three  members  of  Miss  Wingfield  Digby's  class 
by  the  Home  Arts  and  Industries  Association. 

We  turn  to  three  schemes  which  combine  cookery  with 
the  work  of  the  loom  and  the  needle,  and  the  carving-tool, 
hitherto  dealt  with  separately,  and  four  others  nearly  as 

Serving  One  Another.  307 

That  it  was  founded  by  the  Princess  of  Wales  is  not  our 
only  reason  for  naming  the  Technical  School  at  Sandringham 
first  Her  Royal  Highness's  desire  to  train  the  sons  and 
daughters  of  the  Sandringham  labourers  bore  fruit  some  years 
before  technical  education  had  gained  its  present  hold  upon 
the  public  mind.  The  school  began  in  an  old  schoolroom,  with 
evening  classes  instructed  by  an  artisan  from  a  neighbouring 
town.  The  interest  aroused  was  so  great  that  the  Princess 
determined  to  make  the  whole  scheme  larger  and  more  lasting. 
She  sent  Fraulein  Nodel,  formerly  German  governess  to  the 
young  Princesses,  to  study  the  subject  in  London  and  the  great 
Continental  centres  of  technical  education,  and  then 
appointed  her  lady  superintendent  of  the  School.  In  the 
enlarged  schoolroom  men  and  lads  meet  to  learn  carpentry, 
joinery,  wood-carving,  brass  and  copper  repousse,  and  bent 
iron  work.  Meanwhile,  the  girls  of  the  village  are  taught 
cooking,  sewing,  dressmaking,  the  making  of  baby  clothes, 
and  general  domestic  management,  from  10  a.m  to  6  p.m. 
every  Tuesday,  Wednesday,  Thursday,  and  Friday.  The 
Norfolk  County  Council  inspected  and  highly  commended 
the  school,  but  the  Princess  of  Wales  declined  their  offer  to 
undertake  its  supervision  and  cost,  preferring  to  maintain  it 
at  her  own  expense  and  keep  it  under  her  personal  control. 
Her  medical  attendant,  Dr.  Manby,  lately  gave  the  elder  girls 
a  course  of  lectures  for  the  St.  John's  Ambulance  Association, 
and  all  who  attended  gained  certificates.  The  school  has 
gained  many  prizes  at  exhibitions  held  in  London  and 
different  provincial  centres,  and  the  sale  of  the  articles  pro- 
duced increases  steadily. 

In  1629,  Baptist,  Viscount  Campden,  bequeathed  £200, 
and  in  1643  his  widow  likewise  bequeathed  £200,  "to  be 
yearly  employed  for  the  good  and  benefit  of  the  poor  of 
Kensington  for  ever."  Two  acres  abutting  on  the  High  Street 
of  Netting  Hill,  London,  are  reputed  to  have  been  given  for 
a  similar  purpose  by  Oliver  Cromwell.  The  money  was 
invested  in  land,  and  thanks  to  "  unearned  increment,"  this 
modest  capital  of  .£400  and  two  acres  now  yields  an  annual 
income  of  almost  ^"4400.  Of  this  sum,  ^"1300  is  annually 
expended  in  pensions  to  the  aged  and  deserving,  and  nearly 
,£900  more  goes  to  hospitals,  provident  clubs,  and  special 

;o8  Woman 's  Mission. 

relief  of  special  cases  of  need.  With  this  aid  to  the  aged, 
sick,  and  distressed  we  are  not  here  concerned.  The  remain- 
ing sum  of  about  .£1800  is  laid  out  for  the  young  of  Ken- 
sington in  apprenticeships,  premiums,  exhibitions,  and  scholar- 
ships for  pupils  of  public  elementary  schools,  and  finally  in 
providing  the  Campden  Trust  lectures  and  evening  classes 
formed  in  1888,  whereby  they  may  continue  their  education 
on  leaving  school.  The  classes  during  last  session  were 
attended  by  196  boys,  who  learned  carpentry,  wood-carving, 
and  mechanical  drawing;  and  by  148  girls,  who  learned 
cookery,  dressmaking,  and  drawing.  Their  success  is,  in  no 
small  degree,  due  to  the  untiring  energy  of  the  honorary 
secretary,  Miss  Catherine  Hamilton.  The  voluntary  help  of 
other  ladies  and  gentlemen  has  supplemented  the  instruction 
given  by  the  various  teachers,  and  the  examiners'  reports, 
and  the  large  proportion  of  pupils  who  went  up  for  examina- 
tion and  obtained  prizes  and  certificates,  testify  to  the  ex- 
cellence of  the  work  done.  Some  of  the  best  was  sent  to 
the  exhibition  of  the  Recreative  Evening  Schools  Association. 
Out  of  ^484  spent  on  these  classes,  £,22  gs.  was  contributed 
by  pupils'  fees.  The  recent  founding  of  the  Kensington 
Polytechnic  by  the  Marquis  of  Lome  and  others,  promises  to 
extend  and  develop  the  scheme  still  further,  as  this  building 
has  been  assigned  to  the  Campden  Trustees,  of  whom  the 
Vicar  of  Kensington  is  chairman. 

The  Recreative  Evening  Schools  Association,  of  which 
H.R.H.  Princess  Louise,  Marchioness  of  Lome,  is  an  active 
President,  is  little  more  than  seven  years  old.  Its  object  is 
to  provide  further  instruction  and  healthful  occupation  for 
girls  and  boys  who  have  left  our  elementary  day  schools. 
Careful  inquiry  showed  that  not  more  than  four  per  cent, 
of  these  continued  their  education  in  any  systematic  way ; 
while  it  was  obvious  that  they  were  sent  forth  into  the  work 
of  life  unfitted  for  its  duties,  and  exposed,  at  the  most  critical 
age,  to  the  perils  of  the  streets  at  all  hours.  The  secret  of  the 
great  success  of  the  association  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  even- 
ing classes  have  been  made  bright  and  attractive.  Instead  of 
the  dreary  book-lessons  in  the  three  R's  and  English,  which 
were  formerly  almost  the  only  attraction  for  evening  scholars, 
they  introduced  lantern  illustrations  of  geography  and  travel. 

Serving  One  Another.  309 

history,  and  simple  science.  Among  other  subjects  taught 
were  book-keeping,  shorthand,  musical  drill,  gymnastics, 
clay  modelling,  metal-work,  wood-carving,  dress  cutting,  and 
cookery,  for  which  no  Government  grants  were  then  available. 
Ladies  and  gentlemen  of  culture  and  leisure  were  secured  as 
voluntary  teachers,  and  as  managers  of  savings  banks  for  the 
scholars,  whom  they  also  took  for  Saturday  rambles  and 
visits  to  public  buildings  and  places  of  interest.  The  asso- 
ciation soon  worked  wonders.  New  pupils  flocked  into 
schools  which  had  been  almost  empty.  In  London  the 
centres  aided  increased  from  29  in  1886  to  232  in  1892,  while 
the  estimated  average  attendances  grew  from  4350  in  1887 
to  12,500  in  1892.  Public  opinion  was  gradually  aroused, 
and  by  means  of  meetings  and  wide  circulation  of  informa- 
tion, evening  schools  were  at  length  established  throughout 
the  land.  The  principles  and  methods  of  the  association  won 
hearty  approval  wherever  they  became  known,  so  that  to-day 
the  idea  of  the  continuation  school  is  a  perfectly  familiar 
one,  at  least  in  all  large  centres  of  population,  and  the 
average  attendance  throughout  the  country,  which  in  1885 
was  24,233,  had  risen  in  1892  to  65,000.  Annual  industrial 
exhibitions  of  the  work  of  evening  scholars  in  various  places 
have  emphasized  the  technical  side  of  the  enterprise  during 
the  last  five  years.  Girls'  evening  homes  and  social  institutes 
for  working  youths  and  men  have  also  grown  up,  and  we  may 
hope  that,  eventually,  in  every  town  and  village  an  evening 
school,  recreative  and  practical,  will  be  as  much  a  matter  of 
course  as  a  day  school. 

The  Broomloan  Halls  Classes  for  Cookery  and  Sewing 
were  founded  at  Govan,  Glasgow,  by  Mrs.  John  Elder,  in  1 885. 
They  form  a  technical  school  for  the  wives  and  daughters  of 
artisans,  and  are  in  the  midst  of  a  large  ship-building  popula- 
tion. All  their  incidental  expenses  are  paid  by  the  generous 
founder.  The  cookery  demonstration  class,  attended  by 
some  two  hundred  women  and  girls,  is  the  most  popular.  It 
is  supplemented  by  the  cookery  practice  class,  at  which 
their  clever  teacher,  Miss  Gordon,  shows  her  pupils  how  to 
turn  out  the  best  possible  Sunday  dinner  from  the  materials 
they  bring  on  Saturday  night.  Eighty  to  a  hundred  women 
attend  the  Monday  evening  sewing  and  mending  class ; 

3io  Woman  s  Mission. 

a  large  number  also  appreciate  that  the  starching  and 
ironing  class  will  fit  them  for  a  useful  calling ;  and  lastly, 
forty-two  girls  are  carefully  trained  to  be  kitchenmaids,  and 
never  fail  to  find  good  places.  During  the  summer  months, 
housewives  who  choose  to  enter  their  names  on  a  list,  are 
visited  by  intelligent  and  specially  trained  women  of  their 
own  class,  and  shown  how  to  cook  and  clean  and  arrange 
their  houses.  This  kind  of  help  is  most  eagerly  sought. 

The  Little  Servants'  Home,  in  connection  with  Brownshill 
House  School,  Stroud,  was  founded  by  Miss  Winscombe. 
This  attempt  to  prepare  young  girls  for  domestic  service  by 
training  them  under  upper  servants,  might  be  imitated  in 
other  large  households,  for  every  effort  that  tends  to  raise  the 
status  of  domestic  servants,  and  the  standard  of  qualification 
for  domestic  service,  is  a  real  benefit  to  girls  in  humble  homes. 
For  the  third  time,  a  village  in  Scotland  claims  our  atten- 
tion. The  Misses  Fergusson,  with  the  occasional  help  of 
their  own  servants,  have,  since  1881,  organized  and  carried 
on  most  successful  evening  classes  for  joinery,  basket-work, 
fretwork,  carving,  and  drawing,  among  the  men  ;  and  for 
knitting,  crochet,  embroidery,  etc.,  among  the  women  of  West 
Linton,  Peebleshire.  Their  last  sale  realized  £105,  all  profit 
to  the  workers. 

In  Cumberland,  the  loveliest  district  of  England,  under 
the  fostering  care  of  Mrs.  Hardwicke  Rawnsley,  wife  of  the 
Vicar  of  Crosthwaite  (that  picturesque  vale,  or  thwaite,  where 
St.  Kentigern  reared  the  cross  in  the  earliest  age  of  England's 
religious  history),  has  grown  up,  since  1883,  the  Keswick 
Industrial  School  of  Art,  and  a  Linen  Industry,  which  has 
Mr.  Ruskin's  leave  to  bear  his  name.  Both  are  endeavours 
to  reduce  to  practice  his  characteristic  teaching,  that  a 
love  of  the  beautiful  lies  hidden  in  every  human  soul,  and 
that  things  made  by  hand,  and  bearing  the  impress  of  human 
individuality,  are  incomparably  more  beautiful  than  those 
which  can  be  turned  out  by  machinery.  There  is  some- 
thing quite  mediaeval  about  the  whole  undertaking,  so  little 
trace  can  be  found  in  it  of  the  modern  commercial  spirit,  and 
so  lovingly  do  these  northern  peasants  linger  over  the  details 
of  their  work.  From  seventy  to  eighty  men  now  belong 
to  the  carving  and  brass-work  classes.  The  Linen  Industry 

Serving  One  Another.  311 

was  started  by  Miss  Twelves  ;  the  spinning  is  all  done  with 
the  old-fashioned  wheels,  and  the  weaving  is  all  by  hand. 
These  earnest  and  artistic  workers  in  the  land  of  two  Nine- 
teenth Century  Laureates,  lately  had  the  satisfaction  of  doing 
honour  to  a  third,  by  weaving  a  pall  of  wondrous  beauty  for 
Lord  Tennyson's  coffin. 

We  turn  now  to  schemes  that  aim  at  imparting  knowledge, 
at  informing  the  head,  and  according  to  our  threefold  being 
of  body,  soul,  and  spirit,  take  these  as  they  successively  deal 
with  physical,  mental,  and  moral  welfare  of  mankind. 

Canon  Kingsley,  Bishop  Wilberforce,  and  others  have 
taught  our  generation  the  whole  meaning  of  the  old  phrase, 
mens  sana  in  corpore  sano.  Two  societies,  both  dwelling  in 
Berners  Street,  London,  and  both  owing  their  existence  to* 
the  insight  and  energy  of  women,  are  waging  successful  war,, 
not  with  flourish  of  trumpets,  but  by  quiet  persistent  work, 
against  the  arch-enemy  ignorance,  and  teaching  rich  and  poor 
that  the  essentials  of  wholesome  life  are  pure  water,  nourishing 
food,  daily  bathing,  and  daily  exercise  ;  that  our  homes  must 
stand  on  high  ground  and  dry  soil,  give  abundant  entrance 
to  light  and  air,  and  be  thoroughly  cleansed,  not  only  above, 
but  below  ground.  The  Ladies'  Sanitary  Association,  founded 
in  1857,  grew,  so  Lady  Knightley  of  Fawsley  tells  us,  out  of 
a  suggestion  made  by  Dr.  Roth,  and  has  now  about  four 
hundred  members.  Countless  lectures  have  been  given 
through  it  to  all  sorts  and  conditions  of  women  ;  it  has 
organized  loan  libraries  of  books  on  health,  and  distributed 
over  a  million  and  a  half  of  tracts  on  hygiene  for  the  people. 
Much  of  the  technical  teaching  of  which  we  have  already 
spoken  may  be  traced  to  its  influence,  as  well  as  dinners  for 
destitute  children,  nurseries  for  motherless  babes,  and  many 
coal  and  clothing  clubs  and  temperance  associations.  From 
its  "park  parties"  have  sprung  the  Children's  Country 
Holidays  scheme  for  city  boys  and  girls,  to  whom  an  uncaged 
singing-bird,  a  growing  wild-flower,  an  expanse  of  blue  sky, 
a  field  of  scented  hay  or  waving  corn,  or  the  rippling  of  water 
or  whispering  of  leaves  in  a  wood,  are  things  as  new  and 
wonderful  as  they  are  joy-inspiring.  Its  secretary  is  Miss 
Rose  Adams. 

,12  Woman 's  Mission. 

The  National  Health  Society,  founded  in  1873,  began 
with  a  modest  scheme  of  lectures  by  ladies  at  men's  clubs 
and  mothers'  meetings.  It  now  has  three  Princesses  of 
Great  Britain  for  Patronesses,  the  Duke  of  Westminster  for 
President,  and  over  four  hundred  and  fifty  members.  Its 
aims  are  well  summed  up  in  its  motto,  "  Prevention  is  better 
than  cure."  Free  lectures  are  given  throughout  the  country 
to  the  poor,  subsidised  now  in  many  places  by  the  County 
Councils ;  while  distinguished  medical  men  and  eminent 
lady  nurses  instruct  drawing-room  audiences,  who  need 
teaching,  scarcely  less,  in  the  laws  of  health.  A  diploma  of 
honour  was  awarded  to  its  literature  by  the  Council  of  the 
International  Health  Exhibition,  and  among  the  varied 
matters  that  claim  its  aid  and  interest  are  hygienic  dress, 
smoke  abatement,  open  spaces,  and  boarding-out  of  children. 
Its  secretary  is  Miss  Ray  Lankester. 

The  Ladies'  Association  for  Useful  Work  at  Birmingham, 
which  was  founded  in  1874,  is  a  local  association,  rather 
younger  than  these  two  national  societies.  It  was  originally 
as  comprehensive  as  its  title,  but  since  Mason  College  was 
opened  it  no  longer  labours  for  higher  education,  but  is 
chiefly  active  in  giving  eight  or  nine  courses  of  lectures  on 
hygiene  to  working  women  ;  keeping  up  a  recreation-room 
for  business  girls,  and  organizing  country  holidays  for 
children.  Its  useful  work  is  almost  wholly  carried  on  by 
voluntary  helpers. 

Education,  in  the  narrower  popular  sense,  next  concerns 
us.  This  is  not  the  place  for  speaking  generally  of  the 
system  that  has  supplemented  girls'  schools  by  women's 
colleges,  and  thrown  open  to  the  women  of  this  generation 
a  wide  culture  that  is  making  women's  lives  richer  and 
happier  than  they  ever  were  before.  Some  women,  like 
some  men,  go  to  the  University  in  order  to  take  up  teaching 
or  another  profession  that  their  attainments  will  render 
honourable.  But  some  women,  like  some  men,  seek  a  liberal 
education  for  its  own  sake,  and  for  its  usefulness  to  others, 
rather  than  its  gainfulness  to  themselves.  And  a  new  need 
of  the  help  that  they  can  give  has  grown  up  with  their  new- 
power  to  give  it.  We  will  glance  at  two  organizations,  alike 
in  having  a  large  staff  of  efficient  but  entirely  unpaid  teachers, 

Sewing  One  AnotJier.  313 

and  a  growing  number  of  pupils  who  could  not  avail  them- 
selves of  professional  tuition  ;  alike  in  knitting  up  innumerable 
friendships  :  unlike,  in  that  the  first  has  a  local  habitation 
wherein  all  its  teaching  is  given  orally ;  while  the  second  is 
carried  on  wholly  by  correspondence,  and  has  no  home 
besides  the  home  of  its  founder  and  president. 

The  College  for  Working  Women,  in  Fitzroy  Street, 
London,  was  founded  in  1874,  in  memory  of  the  Rev. 
Frederick  Denison  Maurice,  originator  of  Queen's  College, 
Harley  Street,  the  earliest  of  all  the  women's  colleges  which 
now  play  so  large  a  part  in  our  intellectual  life.  It  seeks  to 
provide  women  in  business  and  in  domestic  service  with  three 
things — teaching,  amusement,  and  opportunity  of  friendly 
intercourse.  When  it  began,  three-fourths  of  the  two  hundred 
women  on  its  books  were  learning  to  read,  write,  and  spell  in 
elementary  classes.  Now,  thanks  to  the  progress  of  popular 
education,  there  is  but  one  elementary  class  with  twenty 
pupils,  though  the  members  are  between  three  and  four 
hundred  in  number.  The  Council  seek  a  teacher  for  any 
subject  desired  by  not  less  than  six  students.  Some  subjects, 
such  as  French,  attract  from  their  usefulness  for  daily  work ; 
others,  as  in  the  case  of  a  girl  who  lately  took  up  Greek, 
because  of  their  remoteness  from  the  daily  toil.  There  is  a 
Bible  class  on  Sundays,  and  lectures  on  First  Aid  and  Sick 
Nursing  have  been  given  in  connection  with  St.  John's 
Ambulance  Association.  The  classes  are  supplemented  by 
a  library  of  some  two  thousand  volumes,  all  gifts.  Members 
who  have  worked  for  four  terms  in  a  class  may  use  the 
college  as  a  club  only,  and  the  social  side  of  its  work  grows 
more  important  as  time  goes  on.  Take,  for  instance,  the 
Holiday  Guild  inaugurated  by  Lady  Strangford.  The  four 
Saturday  evenings  in  the  month  are  devoted  to  a  dance  ex- 
clusively for  students,  presided  over  by  young  ladies ;  an 
ambulance  practice  ;  a  working-party  for  the  Institution  for 
Promoting  the  General  Welfare  of  the  Blind  ;  a  concert,  or 
lecture,  often  given  by  some  eminent  person.  About  a 
quarter  of  the  working  expenses  is  met  by  students'  fees, 
the  rest  by  gifts  from  friends  and  from  the  City  Companies. 
Miss  Frances  Martin  is  the  Honorary  Secretary.  The  College 
for  Men  and  Women  in  Queen  Square,  London,  founded  in 
1864,  carries  on  a  similar  work. 

314  Woman's  Mission. 

The  College  by  Post,  founded  in  iSSi,  sprang  out  of 
an  effort  which  I  made  in  my  own  early  days  at  college, 
to  help,  by  correspondence,  other  girls,  whose  opportunities 
were  fewer  than  my  own.  University  College,  London  ;  West- 
field  College,  Hampstead  ;  Girton  and  Newnham  Colleges, 
Cambridge,  and  Lady  Margaret  and  Somerville  Halls, 
Oxford ;  the  Ladies'  College,  Cheltenham,  and  kindred  insti- 
tutions for  higher  education,  have  contributed  to  a  staff  on 
which  between  two  and  three  hundred  teachers  have  now 
been  enrolled.  From  all  parts  of  the  United  Kingdom,  from 
the  Continent  and  the  Colonies,  students,  representing  many 
different  conditions  of  life  and  degrees  of  education,  have 
joined  to  the  number  of  between  three  and  four  thousand. 
Competition  with  professional  teachers  is  carefully  avoided, 
and  no  "  coaching "  for  examinations,  other  than  our  own,  is 
undertaken.  Giving  half  an  hour  daily  to  Bible  study  in 
one  of  our  seventy  Scripture  classes  is  the  condition  of 
receiving  gratuitous  instruction  in  other  subjects.  The 
scheme  of  historical  Scripture  study,  which  I  have  elaborated 
for  our  students,  has  now  been  published  in  a  volume  called 
"Clews  to  Holy  Writ,"  which  went  into  its  third  thousand 
within  a  few  weeks  of  its  publication.  About  twenty  subjects 
are  taught  in  our  secular  classes.  The  hygiene  class,  which 
is  conducted  by  a  medallist  of  the  National  Health  Society, 
is  one  of  the  most  popular  of  these.  The  wise  and  kindly 
influence  of  teacher  upon  taught,  and  the  friendships,  helpful 
to  both,  which  grow  up  through  their  work  together,  are 
perhaps  the  most  valuable  and  the  least  describable  part  of 
the  scheme.  Through  the  "writing  mission,"  suggested  by 
Lady  Wright,  some  hundreds  of  our  students  are  also  in 
friendly  correspondence  with  factory  girls. 

So  we  pass  from  the  intellectual  to  the  moral  sphere,  and 
to  organizations  that  aim  at  enabling  people  to  be,  rather 
than  to  know,  taking  first  those  that  aim  at  fitting  special 
classes  for  special  duties. 

The  Home  and  Colonial  School  Society,  established  in 
1836,  is  for  the  Christian  training  of  women  teachers,  and 
sends  forth  annually  some  seventy-five  to  elementary  schools, 
and  some  fifty  to  family  teaching  and  secondary  schools. 

Little  can  be  done  by  the  best  of  schools  for  those  whose 

Serving  One  Another.  3 1 5 

home  influences  are  adverse,  and  this  was  never  truer  than 
it  is  to-day,  when  the  day-school  system  prevails  widely  for 
every  class  of  the  community.  Hence  the  importance  of 
insisting  upon  the  sacred  responsibilities  of  parents,  often  so 
lightly  undertaken  and  so  thoughtlessly  delegated  to  others. 
At  the  request  of  some  Bradford  mothers,  Miss  Charlotte  M. 
Mason,  in  1888,  drew  up  a  scheme  for  assisting  parents  of 
all  classes  to  study  the  laws  of  education  as  they  bear  upon 
the  bodily  development,  moral  training,  intellectual  work, 
and  religious  bringing  up  of  children.  The  Bishop  of  Ripon's 
wife  was  the  first  President  of  the  Parents'  National  Educa- 
tional Union,  and  the  Earl  and  Countess  of  Aberdeen  are 
the  present  Presidents.  Among  those  who  warmly  took 
up  the  scheme  were  Dr.  Lightfoot,  Bishop  of  Durham,  the 
Bishop  of  London,  Miss  Beale,  of  Cheltenham  College, 
Miss  Clough,  of  Newnham  College,  and  Miss  Buss,  of  the 
North  London  Collegiate  School.  Its  organ  is  the  Parents' 
Review,  an  admirable  monthly.  The  House  of  Education 
offers  definite  training  to  those  who  hope  to  become  mothers 
or  governesses.  "I  was  deeply  impressed,"  said  Her  Majesty's 
Inspector  of  Schools,  in  November,  1892,  "with  the  earnest 
and  business-like  way  in  which  the  students  addressed  them- 
selves to  their  work,  and  I  do  not  doubt  that  they  will  devote 
themselves  to  the  care  of  children  with  exceptional  zeal  and 

Analogous  to  the  above  is  the  scheme  newly  shaped  by 
Mrs.  Walter  Ward  (nte  Emily  Lord)  for  definitely  training 
women,  of  more  education  and  refinement  than  the  average 
domestic,  to  be  nurses  for  children.  The  demand  for  such 
trained  persons  is  likely  for  some  time  to  exceed  the  supply. 

Each  of  the  enterprises  dealt  with  above  is  fresh  proof 
of  a  growing  sense  that  "  life  is  an  opportunity  for  service." 
The  story  of  the  varied  labours  of  earnest  women  "  all  for 
love  and  nothing  for  reward  "  would  be  incomplete  without 
any  mention  of  ministry  to  spiritual  needs.  Other  papers 
deal  with  this  fully ;  here  we  may  barely  allude  to  the  great 
army  of  unpaid  Sunday-school  teachers,  and  to  the  Church 
of  England  Sunday-school  Institute,  and  the  Sunday-school 
Union,  which  aim  at  equipping  women  for  their  important  work. 

316  Woman  s  Mission. 

Thoughout  we  have  to  recognize  a  duty  not  only  to  the 
destitute  and  degraded,  but  to  those  who  ask  not  alms  but 
help  of  human  fellowship,  and  appeal  less  to  our  pity  than  to 
our  sympathy.  It  is  through  the  co-operation,  and  not 
through  the  conflict  of  classes,  that  progress  will  be  made, 
and  the  amount  of  this  co-operation  will  depend  upon 
the  degree  in  which  each  class  realizes  what  are  its  special 
responsibilities,  and  what  are  the  true  interests  and  the 
highest  aims  of  the  human  race. 

"  We  must  be  here  to  work ; 
And  men  who  work  can  only  work  for  men, 
And,  not  to  work  in  vain,  must  comprehend 
Humanity,  and  so  work  humanly, 
And  raise  men's  bodies  still  by  raising  souls, 
As  God  did  first." 




THE  introduction  into  "  elementary "  and  "  continued " 
education  in  England  of  domestic  science  instruction,  as 
a  regular  part  of  the  curriculum,  is  a  matter  of  somewhat 
recent  recognition.  But,  when  once  accepted  and  adopted, 
the  spread  of  the  scheme  has  been  most  rapid,  so  that  within 
the  last  twelve  years  the  three  most  essential  domestic  arts, 
viz.  cookery,  laundry-work,  and  household  sewing  with  home 
dress-cutting,  have  been  fully  organized  on  true  educational 
lines,  and  are  now  regularly  taught  both  in  elementary 
schools  and  in  technical  education  classes,  with  the  methods 
and  accuracy  of  other  practical  sciences. 

There  was  a  universally  felt  want  of  some  organized 
system  of  teaching  the  art  of  "making  the  home,"  an  art 
which  was  literally  dying  out  amongst  the  crowded  popula- 
tion of  the  great  cities  and  large  towns,  with  the  inevitable 
consequences  of  such  ignorance,  even  degradation  and 
intemperance.  Moreover,  with  the  loss  of  the  art  of 
"home-life"  came  the  loss  of  wage-earning  power,  and  while 
the  number  of  unemployed  women  was  daily  increasing, 
a  vast  amount  of  remunerative  employment  in  domestic 
matters  was  left  undone  from  want  of  skill  on  the  part  of 
the  would-be  wage-earners. 

Schools  of  cookery  arose  in  London,  Liverpool,  Leeds, 
Edinburgh,  and  Glasgow,  giving  instruction  in  that  one 
essential  subject  to  any  one  who  would  take  the  trouble  to 
improve  their  knowledge,  and  providing  at  the  same  time 

318  Woman  s  Mission. 

centres  where  teachers  could  be  duly  trained,  and  whence 
diplomas  of  efficiency  were  issued.  Still  there  was  great 
difficulty  in  persuading  educationists  that  the  duties  of  home- 
life  could  be  systematized  and  organized  as  practical  science  ; 
and  it  was  not  until  1881,  after  six  years  of  persistent  effort, 
that  cookery  was  accepted  by  the  Education  Department  of 
Great  Britain  as  a  subject  that  could  be  taught  in  every  day- 
school,  with  a  Government  grant  for  every  girl  who  qualified 
for  it  under  the  required  conditions.  The  educational  plans 
needed  to  bring  so  practical  a  subject  into  harmony  with  the 
generally  accepted  lines  of  education,  were  developed  under 
the  Committee  of  the  Liverpool  School  of  Cookery  and 
Technical  College  for  Women,  one  of  the  schools  in  the 
large  educational  body  now  known  as  "  The  National  Union 
for  the  Technical  Education  of  Women  in  Domestic  Sciences." 
This  union  was  created  for  the  purpose  of  providing  training 
for  teachers  of  cookery  in  the  elementary  schools,  teachers 
well  taught  in  "the  reason  why"  of  the  subject,  and  well 
practised  in  the  art  of  imparting  the  knowledge  of  thrift 
combined  with  comfort,  as  well  as  skill  in  practical  work. 
After  the  first  shudder,  at  the  thought  of  "  education  " 
including  domestic  work,  had  subsided,  common  sense 
rapidly  prevailed,  and  while  seven  thousand  girls  earned  the 
Government  grant  for  cookery  in  1884,  in  1890  it  was  paid 
for  nearly  seventy  thousand,  and  cookery  was  fully  acknow- 
ledged to  be  a  branch  of  national  education. 

Encouraged  by  this  progress,  the  Committee  of  the 
Liverpool  Technical  College  for  Women  conceived  the  idea 
of  introducing  laundry-work  in  the  same  way,  and  accord- 
ingly devoted  much  time  and  attention  to  the  development 
of  a  system  which  would  be  equally  acceptable  to  the  Govern- 
ment  as  that  of  cookery.  The  whole  union  accepted  this 
second  scheme  ;  teachers  were  trained  in  the  same  way  as  for 
cookery,  and  it  was  recognized  by  the  Education  Department. 
Encouraged  by  a  Government  grant  for  every  girl  taught, 
laundry-work  was  quietly  making  its  way  into  elementary 
schools,  when  the  sudden  call  for  technical  education  for  those 
past  school  life  arose  in  1890.  Technical  education  was 
wanted  for  the  wives  and  daughters  of  the  artisans,  for  the 
"  makers  of  the  home,"  as  well  as  for  the  wage-earners.  What 

Growth  and  Development  of  Domestic  Science.     319 

should  it  be  ?  Where  could  it  be  obtained  ?  Here  the 
Schools  of  Cookery  came  forward,  and  presented  to  the 
Technical  Education  Committees,  throughout  the  length  and 
breadth  of  the  land,  schemes  of  practical  education  all  ready 
to  hand,  in  the  most  needed  of  domestic  subjects — cookery, 
laundry-work,  and  household  sewing.  Household  sewing, 
i.e.  home  dress-cutting,  mending,  patching,  and  darning  of 
garments  in  daily  wear  and  tear,  had  also  been  popularized 
and  methodized  in  the  Liverpool  Technical  College,  and 
been  made  as  possible  a  subject  of  education  as  the  renowned 
three  R's.  As  to  the  methods  of  teaching,  the  great  point 
was  to  teach  "  the  reason  why  "  of  everything  ;  to  get  rid  of 
tradition,  chance,  rule  of  thumb,  and  that  general  inaccuracy 
which  has  always  been  the  bane  of  female  work,  but  which 
now,  happily,  is  gradually  disappearing  when  scientific 
exactitude  is  found  to  be  so  forcible  an  element  of  success 
even  in  domestic  matters.  That  scientific  accuracy,  and  that 
knowledge  of  cause  and  effect  which  would  create  intelligent 
and  interested  workers,  were  equally  needed  in  all  the  three 
branches  of  which  this  paper  treats.  The  waste  of  food  in 
the  kitchen,  the  damage  to  garments  in  the  laundry,  the 
thriftlessness  in  the  home  wardrobe,  were  all  the  outcome  of 
ignorance  of  the  value  of  materials,  of  the  uses  of  the  forces 
of  nature,  of  the  power  of  order  and  exactness.  Once  bring 
simple  explanation  into  connection  with  manual  skill,  and 
the  whole  face  of  daily  work  would  be  changed,  and  the  idea 
of  drudgery  in  work  would  disappear.  Such  has  already 
been  the  effect  of  this  new  form  of  scientific  training,  and 
aided  by  a  popular  penny  manual  for  each  branch,  the  con- 
tinuity of  the  teaching  has  been  secured,  and  the  pupils 
supplied  with  efficient  helps  to  memory. 

The  systems  of  teaching  cooking  and  laundry-work  have 
grown  out  of  purely  English  ideas,  but  the  scheme  of  house- 
hold sewing  is  largely  indebted  to  the  admirable  methods 
adopted  in  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Baden  under  the  eye  of 
H.R.H.  the  Grand  Duchess,  herself  one  of  the  leading 
educationists  of  Europe.  To  the  excellent  system  there 
employed  for  teaching  household  sewing  has  been  added 
in  England  a  very  simple  and  most  satisfactory  plan  of 
teaching  home  dress-cutting,  a  popular  system  called  the 

320  Woman  s  Mission. 

"  Grenfell,"  which  combines  a  certain  amount  of  scientific 
accuracy  with  that  ease  of  acquirement,  which  was  the  one 
thing  needed  to  make  a  system  acceptable  to  every  class  of 

In  all  these  subjects,  the  use  of  the  blackboard  is  the 
backbone  of  methodical  instruction. 

This  is  the  domestic  science  teaching  which,  so  far,  has 
been  generally  established  in  England  ;  but  steps  are  being 
taken  to  go  more  into  the  minutiae  of  general  housework,  and 
under  the  joint  committee  of  the  London  School  Board, 
and  the  City  and  Guilds  of  London  Institute,  a  centre  has 
been  formed,  rooms  fitted  up,  and  a  system  of  instruction 
organized,  to  enable  the  elder  girls  in  elementary  schools  to 
have  a  course  of  practical  lessons  in  all  the  details  of  house- 
cleaning,  bed-making,  etc. 

The  course  of  twenty-two  lessons  has  just  been  completed, 
and  an  examination  held  for  the  first  time.  Two  hours  were 
given  in  which  to  answer  a  paper  of  eighteen  questions 
dealing  with  ventilation,  drainage,  thrift,  method  in  house- 
work, exercise,  and  the  principles  of  the  various  forms  of 
cleaning  required  to  keep  a  home  in  good  order.  After  an 
interval,  followed  a  practical  examination,  during  which  every 
branch  of  house-work  was  carried  out  by  the  girls,  generally 
working  in  couples. 

The  results  were  most  satisfactory ;  the  girls,  all  either 
twelve  or  thirteen  years  of  age,  showed  in  their  written  papers 
a  most  intelligent  acquaintance  with  the  practical  duties  of  a 
housewife,  and  in  the  practical  work  displayed  a  skill,  neat- 
ness, and  thoroughness,  combined  with  evident  pleasure  in 
all  they  did,  that  augured  well  for  the  comfort  of  their  homes 
in  the  future.  This  experiment  having  proved  so  successful, 
the  scheme  is  now  to  be  carried  out  in  other  places,  and  there 
is  little  doubt  that  before  long  it  will  develop  all  over  the 
country,  as  another  and  very  important  branch  of  the 
technical  education  of  girls  in  domestic  science. 

Meantime  public  opinion  has  been  thoroughly  educated 
to  appreciate  the  efforts  of  such  a  body  of  educationists  as 
the  "  National  Union,"  through  whose  labours  mainly  this 
work  has  been  accomplished,  and  to  regard  the  training- 
schools  of  cookery,  and  the  technical  colleges  for  women's 

Growth  and  Development  of  Domestic  Science.     321 

education  in  domestic  science,  as  national  institutions  of  only 
a  degree  less  importance  than  those  longer  established  colleges 
which  deal  exclusively  with  the  training  of  the  head  apart 
from  the  aid  of  the  hands.  Through  these  two  great  systems 
of  education,  viz.  elementary  schools  and  technical  educational 
classes,  this  instruction  in  the  science  of  home-life  has  been 
brought  within  the  reach  of  every  woman  and  girl,  from  the 
university  graduate  to  the  poorest  little  drudge,  and  has  been 
accepted  with  an  eagerness  that  sufficiently  guarantees  its 
permanence  as  an  essential  factor  in  the  development  of 
national  welfare.  Though  still  young,  it  has  fully  justified 
its  existence  by  rapid  extension — almost  too  rapid,  indeed  ; 
but  as  almost  every  year  fresh  organizations  are  developed, 
it  only  needs  time  to  bring  the  whole  scheme  to  a  level  of 
efficiency  adequate  to  every  possible  requirement  in  the 
making  of  the  home. 

The  union  of  schools  of  cookery,  hitherto  known  as  the 
"  Northern  Union  of  Schools  of  Cookery,"  was  founded  in 
1876,  when  the  rise  of  various  schools  of  cookery,  chiefly  in 
the  North  of  England,  made  it  inevitable  that  various  systems 
of  training,  probably  of  different  degrees  of  efficiency,  would 
be  started.  It  was,  therefore,  proposed  that  these  schools 
should  unite  for  the  purpose  of  issuing  diplomas  and  certifi- 
cates, and  secure  to  the  public  an  assurance  that  the  teachers 
holding  the  diplomas  of  the  Northern  Union  were  thoroughly 
trained,  and  underwent  examinations  of  a  high  standard  both 
in  theory  and  in  practice.  As  at  that  time  the  chief  schools, 
outside  of  London,  lay  in  the  North  of  England,  and  as 
Scotland  also  joined  in  the  scheme,  the  name  "  Northern 
Union  "  was  adopted.  The  first  aim  of  these  united  schools 
was  to  train  their  teachers  in  the  thrifty  and  economical 
methods  specially  suited  to  the  circumstances  of  the  working 
classes,  while  not  forgetting  the  wants  of  the  well-to-do. 
Next  their  attention  was  directed  to  the  organization  of 
cookery  as  an  educational  subject,  and  to  the  training  of 
teachers  in  all  the  educational  methods  required  for  them  to 
become  teachers  of  cookery  in  the  elementary  schools.  The 
same  system  of  training,  of  examinations,  and  of  fees  for 
teachers,  was  adopted  throughout  the  union,  while  the 
details  were  arranged  by  the  committee  of  each  school.  The 


322  Woman's  Mission. 

council  meetings  of  the  union  being  held  year  by  year  as 
required,  new  developments  were  accepted  as  the  public 
needs  seemed  to  demand  them,  and  when  legislation  became 
necessary  the  council  as  a  large  educational  body  appealed 
from  time  to  time  to  the  Education  Department,  and  obtained 
the  recognition  needed  to  promote  efficiency  and  progress  in 
elementary  school  work.  By  degrees  the  work  of  the  union 
widened,  so  as  to  embrace  in  its  organization  for  the  training 
of  teachers,  the  three  most  needed  of  the  domestic  sciences, 
viz.  cookery,  laundry-work,  and  household  sewing,  with  home 
dress-cutting.  At  the  same  time  the  area  of  its  membership 
was  extending  all  over  England  and  Wales,  and  rendered 
the  title  "Northern"  so  misleading,  that  at  the  council 
meeting  held  in  November,  1892,  it  was  decided,  with  the 
consent  of  H.R.H.  the  Duchess  of  Albany,  the  Patroness, 
to  change  the  name,  and  that  from  henceforth  the  union 
should  be  known  as  "The  National  Union  for  the  Technical 
Education  of  Women  in  the  Domestic  Sciences." 

In  the  "  Handicrafts  "  Section  of  the  English  Department 
at  Chicago,  there  is  an  exhibit  in  three  frames,  of  the 
methods  of  teaching  these  domestic  sciences,  explained  by 
photographs,  specimen  work,  books,  plans,  rhymes,  etc. ;  and 
in  the  library  sent  out  from  London  is  a  copy  of  the  first 
truly  educational  book  on  laundry-work,  published  in  1891.* 

*  "Manual  of  Laundry- Work."    Messrs.  Longmans  and  Green,  London. 

(     323     ) 



ALTHOUGH  the  protection  of  our  crops  from  devastation  is 
unlike  the  benevolent  work  recorded  elsewhere  in  these 
pages,  it  is  benevolent  work  of  the  highest  moment.  Its 
immediate  consequence  is  to  secure  the  fruits  of  labour  and 
to  enhance  the  production  of  food  ;  which  is  to  cheapen  it. 
Therefore  this  volume  would  be  incomplete  without  some 
reference — though  it  must  needs  be  slight  and  insufficient — 
to  the  enormously  important  labours  of  Miss  Ormerod. 

This  lady  is  brought  more  nearly  within  the  scope  of  our 
purpose  by  the  fact  that  she  is  the  daughter  of  a  mother  who 
was  remarkable  for  the  success  of  her  own  philanthropic 
endeavours ;  which  took  a  shape  common  enough,  though 
rarely  pursued  with  Mrs.  Ormerod's  method,  determination, 
and  persistency.  Possessed  of  strong  good  sense  and  sound 
accomplishments,  she  devoted  them  to  the  philanthropic 
purpose  of  grounding  her  children  in  knowledge  and  cha- 
racter. Besides  her  daughters,  she  had  seven  sons  ;  they  all 
became  private  pupils  of  Dr.  Arnold,  or  were  under  that 
famous  tutor  at  Rugby ;  and  so  well  had  their  mother  pre- 
pared them  for  school  that  Dr.  Arnold  felt  himself  con- 
strained to  mark  his  sense  of  it  by  sending  a  special  message 
of  approval.  It  may  be  worth  adding  that  while  praising 
their  scholastic  training,  he  specially  commended  the  sound 
religious  knowledge  with  which  the  boys  came  to  his  care. 
Of  course  such  a  mother  would  be  sure  to  bestow  her  wise 
and  affectionate  assiduities  no  less  on  her  daughters  than 
her  sons  ;  and  it  is  to  her  peculiar  method  of  teaching,  which 

324  Woman's  Mission. 

taught  self-reliance  in  working  and  insured  that  whatever 
knowledge  was  acquired  should  be  sound  and  fixed,  so  to 
speak,  that  Miss  Ormerod  traces  the  genesis  of  her  important 

Miss  Ormerod's  father,  who  is  known  to  many  as  the 
historian  of  Cheshire,  had  a  property  in  Gloucestershire — 
Sedbury  Park,  opposite  Chepstow,  in  Monmouthshire.  His 
health  failing  in  extreme  old  age,  she  assisted  her  sister, 
Georgina  Ormerod,  in  managing  the  property ;  and  here 
again,  perhaps,  we  may  trace  the  results  of  the  mother's 
training.  The  management  of  an  agricultural  property  is  not 
often  undertaken  by  educated  women,  or  not,  at  any  rate, 
with  the  close  personal  superintendence  that  was  bestowed 
in  this  case.  When  thus  engaged,  Miss  Ormerod's  attention 
was  forcibly  drawn  to  the  waste  that  resulted  from  imperfect 
or  neglected  information,  and  more  particularly  to  the  ravage 
of  crops  by  what  was  generally  called  "  blight."  "  Blight " 
was  in  fact  the  devastation  perpetrated  by  insect  plagues  of 
various  kinds,  by  which  now  one  crop  and  now  another  was 
destroyed  over  large  breadths  of  country.  What  "  blight " 
was  did  not,  of  course,  remain  a  secret  till  Miss  Ormerod's 
time.  It  may  be  gathered  from  publications  devoted  to 
agricultural  pursuits  that  the  matter  was  methodically  studied 
in  a  previous  generation,  though  not  to  much  purpose.  Dr. 
Fream,  the  learned  editor  of  the  Journal  of  the  Royal  Agri- 
cultural Society  of  England,  can  tell  us  that  "ten  or  a  dozen 
years  ago  the  subject  of  agricultural  entomology,  as  a  serious 
and  profitable  study,  was  scarcely  recognized  in  this  country." 
"Blight"  was  contentedly  adopted  as  the  explanation  of 
every  variety  of  ravage  ;  and  though  the  loss  occasioned 
thereby  was  often  great,  and  sometimes  extremely  grave, 
"little  attempt  was  made  to  investigate  the  nature  of  this 
'  blight,'  still  less  its  cause."  And  something  more  than 
investigation  was  needed.  Persistency  in  ascertaining  what 
the  blight  was  in  its  several  forms,  what  the  attack,  what 
conditions  favoured  it,  when  and  how  it  could  best  be  met — 
this  (though  it  was  no  light  undertaking)  was  not  enough. 
An  equal  persistency  in  preaching  what  inquiry  revealed  was 
necessary  if  good  were  to  be  done  on  a  considerable  scale. 
Recorded  in  books  of  science,  such  knowledge  has  little 

Miss  Ormerod' s  Work.  325 

practical  value.  In  a  very  great  measure  the  facts  in  this 
case  had  first  to  be  ascertained — almost  from  the  beginning, 
one  might  say ;  and  when  ascertained  and  verified  by 
repeated  observation,  they  had  then  to  be  urged  on  the 
attention  of  agriculturists  in  a  precise  yet  attractive  and 
popular  way.  Thus  the  coolness  and  patience  of  scientific 
inquiry  had  to  be  joined  with  an  enthusiasm  for  doing  good, 
as  they  were  in  Miss  Ormerod,  with  the  result  that  the  cares 
of  many  a  husbandman  have  been  lightened,  his  fields  rescued 
from  waste,  and  his  farm-animals  spared  much  of  the  torment 
inflicted  on  them  by  venomous  and  exhausting  pests  of 
various  kinds. 

Dr.  Fream  says — and  he  has  more  acquaintance  with  Miss 
Ormerod's  work  than  any  one  else,  unless  it  be  her  sister,  who 
has  always  been  associated  with  it — that  a  particular  interest 
in  insects  began  with  her  before  it  had  any  purpose.  "  One 
of  her  earliest  recollections  is  that  of  being  placed  on  a  chair 
to  watch  some  large  water-grubs  (probably  the  larvae  of  the 
carnivorous  water-beetle,  Dytiscus  marginalis)  in  a  glass ; 
when,  to  her  amazement,  one  of  the  creatures  which  had  got 
injured  was  devoured  by  its  companions.  This  initial  obser- 
vation whetted  her  appetite  for  farther  knowledge  of  creatures 
which  could  do  such  dreadful  things."  Sedbury  Park  afforded 
ample  scope  for  her  studies  as  amateur  observer  till  the  later 
time  when  she  took  part  in  managing  the  farm  and  estate ; 
and  then  her  observations  became  distinctly  practical  and 
purposeful.  Beetles  that  devour  each  other  had  still  a  specu- 
lative interest,  perhaps ;  but  beetles  and  other  pests  that 
devour  the  farmer's  substance,  making  havoc  of  thousands  of 
tons  of  food  that  would  otherwise  have  been  placed  on  the 
markets,  were  a  much  more  cogent  matter ;  and  Miss  Ormerod 
went  to  work  systematically  to  discover  all  that  could  be 
learnt  of  these  plagues,  with  a  view  to  their  prevention  or 
extermination.  Her  plan  was  the  excellent,  and  in  this 
case  indispensable,  one  of  multiplying  observation  to  the 
utmost,  and  then  comparing  results  under  the  light  of  a 
thorough  knowledge  of  agriculture  personally  acquired  at  first 
hand.  Whatever  it  may  be  now,  "  blight "  was  at  that  time 
an  obscure  subject,  and  one  that  could  be  generalized  upon 
with  dangerous  ease.  To  arrive  at  sound  information — and 

326  Woman  s  Mission. 

here  it  must  be  sound  or  nearly  valueless — it  was  necessary 
to  bear  in  mind  that  appearances  often  deceive.  One  farm 
is  not  precisely  as  another ;  conditions  vary  in  different  parts 
of  a  county,  and  even  in  different  parts  of  a  parish  ;  and  Miss 
Ormerod  took  the  whole  island  as  her  province.  Great  re- 
sources, however,  awaited  her  in  the  desultory  but  accumu- 
lative observation  of  farmers  and  farm  labourers  all  over 
England.  Here  was  a  store  of  knowledge  in  the  shape  of 
isolated  facts  (and  not  of  much  use  in  that  condition),  which 
became  of  the  highest  value  when  brought  together  for  com- 
parison by  a  discriminating  mind.  Miss  Ormerod's  plan  was 
to  draw  from  this  store  of  knowledge  in  all  directions  open  to 
her.  Beginning  with  the  farm  labourers  of  Sedbury,  she  sup- 
plemented and  connected  her  own  investigations  by  what 
others  observed  in  their  daily  work  in  the  fields  ;  obtaining 
from  them  reports  of  insect  invasions,  insect  attacks,  speci- 
mens of  the  tiny  destructive  creatures  themselves,  examples 
of  the  mischief  they  are  capable  of  doing,  with  an  account 
of  whatever  means  had  been  found  serviceable  for  prevention 
or  remedy.  It  was  not  a  neglected  subject,  though  it  was 
left  to  Miss  Ormerod  to  deal  with  in  a  thorough  and 
thoroughly  successful  spirit.  About  twenty-five  years  ago, 
as  Dr.  Fream  informs  us,  the  Royal  Horticultural  Society 
began  to  form  a  collection  illustrative  of  insects  useful  or 
injurious  to  cultivators ;  and  it  seems  that  Miss  Ormerod's 
first  contribution  to  the  public  good  was  furnishing  this  col- 
lection, year  after  year,  with  many  specimens  of  insects  in 
their  different  stages  of  life ;  to  which  were  added  examples 
of  the  injury  inflicted  on  timber,  corn,  roots,  and  other 
valuable  products  of  the  soil.  It  was  after  her  father's  death, 
we  are  told,  that  Miss  Ormerod  "  conceived  the  idea  of  re- 
cording the  results  of  sustained  observations  upon  the  ravages 
of  insect  pests  on  the  farm  and  in  the  garden."  In  the  early 
part  of  1877  she  issued  a  brief  pamphlet  entitled  "  Notes  for 
Observations  on  Injurious  Insects."  The  pamphlet  was  in 
fact  a  circular  invitation  to  observe ;  to  gather  facts  metho- 
dically and  report  them  ;  and,  judiciously  distributed,  the 
invitation  brought  to  Miss  Ormerod  a  variety  of  information 
which  was  published  for  use  in  the  autumn  of  the  same  year. 
Thus  was  commenced  a  series  of  annual  reports — increasing 

Miss  Ormerod's  Work.  327 

in  value  with  the  number  of  observers  and  the  accumulation 
of  ascertained  facts — which  have  been  immeasurably  service- 
able to  agriculturists.  It  is  impossible  to  say  how  much  our 
farmers  have  profited  by  the  diffusion  of  accurate  knowledge, 
timely  warning,  and  well-tested  remedy  against  the  insidious 
marauders  that  so  often  ruined  their  fields  ;  but  we  know  that 
the  amount  of  anxiety  avoided  and  labour  redeemed  from 
cruel  loss  must  have  been  very  great  indeed. 

And  the  work  and  its  benefits  still  go  on,  enlarging  from 
year  to  year.  In  1881  turnip-fly  made  great  havoc,  and  in 
the  following  year  Miss  Ormerod  wrote  a  special  report  upon 
it.  One  consequence  of  this  publication  was  the  appointment 
of  its  author  as  Honorary  Consulting  Entomologist  to  the 
Royal  Agricultural  Society  of  England  ;  in  which  capacity 
she  continued  to  issue  special  reports,  founded  on  particular 
inquiry  into  the  habits  and  depredations  of  wire-worm,  hop- 
aphis,  mustard-beetle,  and  other  formidable  pests ;  one  of 
which — the  Hessian  Fly — she  was  the  first  to  identify  and 
proclaim  as  an  invader  of  English  fields.  This  was  in  1886. 
But  Miss  Ormerod's  attention  was  not  confined  to  the 
destruction  of  crops.  Farm  animals  are  sorely  preyed  upon 
by  insects  and  other  creatures  more  obscure ;  and  not  only 
to  the  mere  annoyance  of  the  cattle  attacked,  but  to  their 
very  grievous  suffering.  The  warble-fly,  for  example,  inflicts 
dreadful  injuries,  often  ruining  the  poor  beasts  whom  it 
infests  ;  which,,  of  course,  is  not  only  torment  to  them,  but  loss 
to  their  owners.  This  plague  was  under  Miss  Ormerod's 
investigation  for  several  years  ;  at  the  end  of  which  time  she 
was  able  to  publish  every  information  about  it.  All  is  known 
that  need  be  known  about  the  warble-fly  and  how  to  deal 
with  it.  This  is  an  example  of  her  thorough  methods  of 
working ;  methods  demanding  so  much  devotion  that  they 
can  never  be  suspended  or  postponed.  As  Miss  Ormerod 
marked  out  the  business  of  her  life,  she  had  to  be  constant 
to  it  all  day  and  every  day ;  to  be  always  "  on  the  spot "  for 
reference  and  consultation,  among  other  things.  In  a  letter 
to  a  correspondent  she  writes,  "I  have  only  been  away  on 
what  is  called  '  a  holiday '  once  (and  that  for  three  days)  for 
more  years  than  I  can  easily  count."  At  length  illness  has 
obliged  her  to  resign  the  office  of  Consulting  Entomologist 

328  Woman  s  Mission. 

to  the  Royal  Agricultural  Society.  Her  work  is  not  over, 
though  the  time  has  come  when  it  must  be  brought  within 
endurable  limits.  But  the  time  is  not  in  view  when  the  fruits 
of  her  labour  will  be  exhausted.  Speaking  literally,  they 
are  a  great  and  a  lasting  endowment ;  and  besides  the  direct 
benefits  which  Miss  Ormerod  has  bestowed  upon  the  nation, 
there  is  something  which  upon  the  whole  may  be  greater 
still :  the  stimulus  of  her  example  as  inquirer  and  investigator 
where  ignorance  is  pain  and  loss. 

(     329     ) 


IN  the  early  part  of  the  present  century  a  movement  was 
begun  in  London  for  the  protection  of  animals  against  cruel 
treatment  At  that  time,  either  from  ignorance,  thoughtless- 
ness, heedlessness,  or  wanton  brutality,  animals  were  generally 
subjected  to  extreme  ill-treatment,  and  even  torture.  In  the 
best  circles  of  society  a  few  persons  openly  protested  against 
this  cruelty,  but  the  majority  regarded  with  scorn,  and  often 
with  indignation,  any  appeal  made  to  them  on  behalf  of  the 
brutes,  and  naturally  the  lower  and  lowest  classes  of  the 
people  totally  ignored  the  rights  of  dumb  animals.  The 
protests  of  humane  people  were  silenced  by  ridicule  which 
came  from  the  platform,  the  pulpit,  and  the  senate,  as  well  as 
from  the  galled  pens  of  satirists. 

After  several  unsuccessful  efforts,  a  bill  to  prevent  the 
cruel  and  improper  treatment  of  cattle  was  introduced  into 
Parliament,  in  1822,  by  Mr.  Richard  Martin,  and  passed  into 
law.  This  measure,  known  as  Martin's  Act,  though  narrow 
and  defective,  was  the  first  instance  of  legal  protection  being 
given  to  animals  by  the  responsible  Government  of  any 
nation.  Though  shortly  afterwards  amended  and  extended, 
it  was  allowed,  partly  by  the  covert  opposition  of  magistrates , 
to  become  a  dead  letter.  Reckless  savage  punishment,  and 
pitiless  disregard  for  the  sufferings  of  animals,  were  witnessed 
daily  on  the  highways  and  in  the  streets,  to  repress  which  the 
uncombined  efforts  of  a  few  benevolent'individuals  were  power- 
less. It  was  resolved,  therefore,  to  establish  a  society,  which, 
by  uniting  the  friends  of  animals,  should  be  powerful  enough 
to  enforce  the  law  passed  for  their  protection. 

33°  Woman  s  Mission. 

In  June,  1824,  a  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to 
Ani  mals  was  formed,  among  the  members  being  Mr.  Richard 
Martin,  Sir  Francis  Burdett,  Bart,  Rev.  Mr.  Broom,  Mr. 
VVil  berforce,  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  S.  Gurney.  The  main  object 
was  to  enforce  the  new  law,  and  special  officers  were  ap- 
poi  nted  for  that  purpose.  The  first  prosecution  was  insti- 
tuted by  Mr.  Martin  himself,  against  a  costermonger  charged 
with  cruelty  to  his  donkey  by  working  it  while  suffering  from 
ol  d-standing  abscesses  under  the  harness.  The  magistrate 
is  said  to  have  declared  that  he  could  not  convict  under 
the  statute  unless  the  ill-treated  animal  were  produced  in 
court,  and  the  donkey  was  accordingly  introduced.  The 
owner  was  convicted  and  punished,  the  incident  being  com- 
memorated by  an  amusing  drawing,  and  some  doggerel  verse 
beginning — 

"  If  I  had  a  donkey  wot  wouldn't  go, 
D'ye  think  I'd  wollop  him  ?    No,  no,  no  ! " 

After  many  years  of  successful  work  as  a  prosecuting 
body  it  was  felt,  in  1869,  that  the  society  had  not  fully 
carried  out  its  mission  as  an  educating  agency,  and  an 
appeal  was  therefore  made  to  the  women  of  England  to 
supplement  its  operations  by  organizing  an  education  depart- 
ment. A  letter  was  addressed  to  the  Times  by  Miss  (now 
the  Baroness)  Burdett-Coutts  "to  entreat  public  attention  to 
a  systematic  training  among  all  classes,  both  in  principles 
of  humanity  towards  animals,  and  in  a  knowledge  of  their 
proper  treatment,"  and  inviting  people  to  consider  whether 
"  a  systematic  teaching  of  the  absolute  duty  of  man  towards 
the  lower  animals  should  not  enter  into  the  practical  educa- 
tion of  all  classes."  In  pursuance  of  this  idea  a  meeting 
was  held  at  her  residence,  Holly  Lodge,  Highgate,  and  was 
addressed  by  Mr.  Angell,  a  distinguished  advocate  in  America 
of  the  cause  of  the  animals.  An  association  was  thereupon 
formed  from  members  of  the  parent  society,  and  named  the 
Ladies'  Humane  Education  Committee  of  the  Royal  Society 
for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to  Animals. 

The  influence  of  this  committee  has  been  both  wide  and 
deep.  It  has  circulated  broadcast  leaflets,  tracts,  and  other 
literature,  including  the  society's  monthly  publication,  The 
Animal  World,  introducing  these  into  schools  and  libraries, 

Woman's   Work  for  Animals.  331 

railway  stations,  hospitals  and  workhouses,  and  into  hundreds 
of  thousands  of  homes.  It  has  made  special  efforts  to  reach 
butchers,  drovers,  carmen,  grooms,  coachmen,  and  farm 
servants.  But  its  most  important  work  has  unquestionably 
been  effected  in  our  schools,  where  principles  of  mercy  and 
kindness  have  been  fostered  by  the  encouragement  of  essay- 
writing  on  this  subject,  in  which  the  committee  has  secured 
the  cordial  co-operation  of  the  schoolmasters  and  school- 
mistresses. In  1892  Mr.  Colam,  the  secretary  of  the  society, 
was  able  to  report  that,  for  the  competition  of  that  year, 
no  less  than  69,183  essays  had  been  sent  in  on  the  duty  of 
kin  dness  to  animals,  from  901  schools,  the  number  ten  years 
previously  having  been  only  11,684  essays  from  319  schools. 
It  will  be  noticed  that  while  the  number  of  competing 
schools  has  increased  threefold,  the  number  of  essays  has 
increased  sixfold  ;  though  even  the  latter  figure  does  not 
represent  the  limit  of  this  influence.  For  weeks  the  subject 
of  the  essay  will  probably  have  been  the  topic  of  conversa- 
tion in  the  family  of  each  writer,  silently  influencing  the 
rnin  ds  of  the  whole  household.  This  important  work,  which 
has  enlisted  the  active  support  of  Her  Majesty  the  Queen, 
and  several  members  of  the  Royal  Family,  has  been  con- 
ducted entirely  by  women,  and  is  now  carried  on  by  means 
of  branch  committees  in  all  the  large  cities  of  the  kingdom. 

The  society,  after  grave  deliberation,  acquiesced  in  the 
pas  sing  of  the  Acts  prohibiting  vivisection,  except  when 
performed  under  inspection  by  a  few  operators  provided 
with  an  official  license.  By  these  Acts  an  end  was  put  to 
vivisection  for  purposes  of  demonstration,  which,  though 
probably  illegal  at  Common  Law,  was  openly  practised,  and 
thus  an  evil  was  minimized  which  could  not  be  entirely 

e  Another  most  useful  work  has  been  that  instituted  by  Mrs. 
Smithies,  a  member  of  the  Ladies'  Committee,  who  organized 
young  people  and  children  into  little  societies  known  as 
Bands  of  Mercy,  of  which  six  hundred  now  exist  The 
members  declare  they  will  be  kind  to  animals,  and  will  do 
all  in  their  power  to  protect  them  from  cruelty  and  to  promote 
their  humane  treatment ;  these  duties  forming  the  subjects 
of  addresses  and  lectures  at  meetings  of  members,  which  are 

33 2  Woman  s  Mission. 

held  at  regular  intervals.  This  effort  began  with  the  forma- 
tion of  a  Band  at  Wood  Green  by  Mrs.  Smithies,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts,  the  Rev.  W.  M. 
(now  Archdeacon)  Sinclair,  and  Mr.  Colam.  The  work  proving 
successful,  was,  at  the  desire  of  Mrs.  Smithies,  transferred  to 
the  Ladies'  Committee,  which  became  the  governing  body  of 
these  little  societies.  A  monthly  illustrated  journal,  entitled 
The  Band  of  Mercy,  is  published  by  the  Committee. 

The  movement  has  taken  a  very  wide  extension,  and  the 
Flegg  Band  of  Mercy  Union  may  be  mentioned  as  an  example 
of  local  effort.  Flegg — the  word  meaning  level — is  a  district 
in  Norfolk,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  beautiful  Broads. 
The  work  began  with  the  formation  by  Miss  Florence  Lucas 
of  a  Band  of  Mercy  in  the  village  of  Filby,  of  which  her 
father  was  rector,  in  1885.  Similar  bands  being  organized  in 
the  neighbourhood,  they  were  formed  into  a  union,  which 
greatly  reduces  the  bulk  of  correspondence  with  the  London 
central  office,  while  leaving  each  village  perfect  freedom  in 
the  management  of  its  own  affairs.  The  union  is  governed 
by  a  ladies'  committee,  on  which  each  village  affiliated  to  the 
union  is  represented.  The  success  of  Miss  Lucas's  effort  at 
Filby  may  be  gauged  by  the  fact  that  the  number  of  members 
has  increased  since  1885  from  thirty  to  over  one  thousand. 
Several  other  unions  have  been  formed  in  the  district  on  this 
model,  and  a  measure  of  further  co-operation  and  centra- 
lization is  now  under  consideration. 

The  society  has  also  organized  a  system  of  visiting 
mines  and  pits  and  examining  horses  and  ponies  engaged 
there.  It  has  published  illustrated  almanacks  containing 
useful  reading  on  the  proper  treatment  of  animals,  nearly 
one  hundred  thousand  of  which  are  circulated  annually,  and 
has  also  translated  into  Italian  a  practical  manual  called 
"  The  Horse  Book,"  of  which  several  thousand  copies  were 
printed  at  the  expense  of  the  Baroness  Burdett-Coutts. 

The  discussion  of  the  claims  of  animals  and  the  spread  of 
the  society's  principles,  as  advocated  in  papers  issued  by  the 
Ladies'  Committee,  have  led  to  the  formation  of  several 
kindred  associations.  Among  these  may  be  mentioned  "The 
Home  of  Rest  for  Horses,"  founded  by  Miss  Anna  Lindo, 
with  the  object  of  providing  rest  for  tired  horses  and  a  retreat 

Woman  s  Work  for  Animals.  333 

for  old  favourites  upon  their  becoming  decrepit.  It  also 
provides  horses  to  be  used  by  cabmen,  costermongers,  and 
others,  while  their  own  animals  are  resting  at  the  home. 
Another  establishment,  also  formed  by  ladies,  is  the  Animals' 
Institute,  the  president  of  which  is  Lady  Frances  Trevanion. 
Here  sick  animals  are  professionally  treated,  a  nominal  fee 
being  charged  to  the  general  public,  but  not  exacted  from 
the  poor.  The  Home  for  Lost  and  Starving  Dogs  in  London 
was  founded  by  Mrs.  Tealby,  and  at  first  managed  by 
women.  All  over  the  kingdom  local  societies  are  engaged 
in  similar  work  of  the  highest  value.  Several  societies  have 
arisen  whose  object  is  the  better  protection  of  birds,  and  these, 
it  may  be  said,  have  come  into  existence  mainly  by  the  opera- 
tions of  the  Ladies'  Committee,  whose  leaflets,  pamphlets, 
books,  and  journals  have  been  circulated  in  great  profusion. 
There  can  be  no  doubt,  too,  that  by  its  influence  on  the 
public  mind  the  work  of  this  society  has  materially  contributed 
to  secure  the  legal  protection  of  children  against  the  cruelty 
of  unnatural  parents  and  others  in  authority.  It  will  probably 
be  suggested,  and  with  much  justification,  that  in  a  civilized 
community  the  protection  of  children  should  have  preceded 
that  of  animals  ;  but  it  must  be  remembered  that  our  com- 
plicated social  system,  and  the  peculiar  character  of  the 
legal  position  of  children,  rendered  this  work  one  of  special 

Lastly,  an  impulse  has  been  given  to  the  preparation  and 
publication  of  literature,  designed  to  carry  out  the  principles 
of  the  Ladies'  Committee,  by  inducing  competent  women  to 
write  stories  and  poems  in  promotion  of  the  general  cause. 
It  is  needless  to  add  that  the  circulation  of  popular  literature 
of  this  nature  is  not  only  conducive  to  a  healthy  sentiment 
throughout  the  community,  but  tends  greatly  to  the  amelior- 
ation of  the  condition  of  animals. 

334  Woman's  Mission. 



THE  Great  Exhibition  of  1851,  an  enterprise  which  will 
remain  for  ever  memorable  in  the  history  of  this  century,  as 
the  first  of  what  may  be  called  the  stock-takings  of  the  world, 
has  had  many  successors,  and  the  recorded  results  of  these 
furnish  to  the  annals  of  our  own  time,  and  will  furnish  to 
the  history  of  the  future,  valuable  material  for  the  archives 
of  civilization.  The  "  idea  "  of  these  successive  epitomes  of 
the  products  and  the  progress  of  the  age,  presenting  impres- 
sive object-lessons  in  every  country  where  they  have  existed, 
has  grown  with  the  growth  of  populations,  commerce,  and 
inter-communication,  far  beyond  its  first  inception,  but  the 
purpose  is  still  the  same.  That  purpose  is,  in  familiar  words, 
to  show  us  where  we  are.  A  great  Exhibition  gives  us  pause, 
and  is  equally  welcome  and  instructive  in  all  its  aspects. 
The  number  and  importance  of  those  aspects  in  the  case  of 
the  World's  Fair  at  Chicago  are  greater  than  in  any  former 
instance,  and  will  receive  adequate  and  appreciative  exposi- 
tion from  thousands  of  pens.  We  shall  be  shown  where  we 
are  in  every  branch  of  knowledge,  in  all  kinds  of  achieve- 
ment, in  all  varieties  of  aspiration  and  effort,  and  to  the 
statement  of  account  of  the  latest  of  the  great  Exhibitions 
will  "  hang  a  tale,"  or  total,  on  which  the  world  may  indeed 
look  with  pride,  and  which  will  act  as  an  incentive  to  increased 
industry  and  ambition. 

One  aspect  only  of  this  vast  subject  it  is  for  us  to  present, 
and  of  that  hardly  more  than  a  glimpse.     Where  shall  the 

Work  in  British  Colonies  and  the  East.      335 

World's  Fair  show  us  to  be  in  the  field  of  philanthropy  ? 
What  have  we  been  doing  for  our  fellows  all  over  the  globe  ? 
What  is  the  outcome  of  the  "  deep-veined  humanity  "  which 
cannot  be  denied  to  this  age  of  the  toiling  and  suffering 
earth  ?  With  questions  so  wide  we  do  not  cope,  but  only 
endeavour  to  give  an  outline  answer  to  the  narrower  demand 
for  a  record  of  what  is  being  done,  in  the  cause  of  the  love  of 
the  human  race,  by  women  in  our  own  colonies  and  in  the 

The  record,  imperfect  as  it  is,  for  we  have  not  been  able 
to  procure  anything  like  full  information,  is  eminently  satis- 
factory and  hope-inspiring.  In  the  Australasian  colonies 
remarkable  organization  and  vigorous  personal  action  cha- 
racterize the  charitable  institutions  and  societies.  These  are 
very  numerous,  and  are  worked  in  many  instances  by  both 
men  and  women  in  co-operation,  so  that,  while  we  cannot 
dwell  upon  these  instances,  because  we  are  limited  by  the 
conditions  of  our  subject,  they  must  not  be  eliminated  from 
our  general  view  of  the  energetic  action  which  prevails  in  the 
philanthropical  department  of  colonial  life.  Nor  can  we 
pass  to  the  consideration  of  the  work  that  is  exclusively 
women's,  without  comment  upon  the  enviable  superiority  of 
colonial  special  legislation  for  the  welfare  of  children  over  that 
of  Great  Britain  or  any  European  country.  The  reforms  for 
which  we  are  striving  have  been  achieved  by  our  Australasian 
colonies,  and  the  1890-91  reports  of  Mr.  Brett,  Inspector  of 
Charitable  Institutions  in  the  Colony  of  Victoria,  upon  the 
work  of  private  persons  and  of  societies  under  the  Neglected 
Children's  Act,  are  documents  of  deep  and  affecting  interest. 
They  record  results  which  testify  to  the  wisdom  and  benefi- 
cence of  the  legislation  on  behalf  of  the  children,  with  whom 
the  work  of  rescue  must  begin.  Nine  organizations  for  the 
purposes  of  the  Neglected  Children's  Act  form  the  subject  of 
these  reports ;  four  of  the  institutions  are  managed  entirely 
by  ladies,  and  the  general  work — "  a  task,"  Mr.  Brett  writes, 
"  which  is  most  hopeful,  and  opens  up  a  new  era  for  child- 
life  " — is  done  by  representatives  of  "  all  the  creeds."  The 
provisions  of  this  Act  for  the  security  and  inspection  of 
children  committed  under  it  to  the  care  of  private  persons, 
are  particularly  admirable  ;  indeed,  the  whole  of  the  Act  is  a 

336  Woman *s  Mission. 

model  of  all  that  is  to  be  desired  in  legislation  with  this 
purpose.  The  latest  report  by  Mr.  Brett  bears  the  following 
warm  testimony  to  the  worth  of  women's  work : — "  The 
devotion  and  self-sacrificing  efforts  of  women  in  the  rescue 
of  neglected  children,  and  the  value  of  the  work  done  by 
them,  cannot  be  overrated.  Of  all  the  philanthropic  organi- 
zations which  come  under  my  observation,  those  established 
under  the  provisions  of  the  'Neglected  Children's  Act'  are 
attended  with  the  most  beneficial  results  ; "  and  if  "  the 
Christianity  and  the  civilization  of  a  people  may  both  be 
measured  by  its  treatment  of  childhood "  (Cardinal  Man- 
ning), "the  policy  of  the  country  in  this  direction  may  be 
accepted  as  an  indication  that  we  are  not  deficient  in  either 
the  one  or  the  other.  I  am  of  opinion  that  amongst  the 
most  practical  and  successful  philanthropic  efforts  that  have 
been,  or  are  being  made,  by  women,  are  the  foregoing  ;  they 
look  upon  the  problems  of  life  from  a  different  side  from  that 
of  men,  and  bring  fresh  light  to  bear  upon  it ;  they  are  dis- 
tinguished by  a  gift  for  detail  and  a  power  of  individualiza- 
tion  constantly  required  in  the  affairs  of  such  work ;  their 
familiarity  with  all  that  appertains  to  the  needs  of  domestic 
life,  combined  with  ready  sympathy  with  suffering,  makes 
their  influence  and  co-operation  invaluable  in  the  cause  of 

The  Melbourne  Ladies'  Benevolent  Society  has  the 
Countess  of  Hopetoun  for  its  Patroness,  and  the  following 
plain  and  practical  works  of  mercy  are  its  objects: — "To 
relieve  the  wants  of  the  poor,  particularly  females,  by 
supplying  them  with  clothes,  food,  and  necessaries."  Primary 
attention  is  paid  to  the  sick,  and  to  poor  women  in  their 
confinement ;  when  children  cannot  be  sent  to  school  for 
want  of  means,  the  society  assists  them  to  the  extent  of 
its  ability.  Its  work  embraces  the  visitation  and  assistance 
of  the  poor  in  their  own  homes,  without  distinction  of  creed 
or  country,  within  a  widely-extended  district.  Relief  is  given 
chiefly  in  food,  but  also  in  rent,  and  assistance  towards  the 
purchase  of  various  implements  of  work.  An  "Industrial 
Home"  is  in  brisk  working  order  under  this  society, 
"  providing  a  temporary  home  for  women,  with  such  young 
children  as  may  be  dependent  on  them,  during  occasional 

Work  in  British  Colonies  and  the  East.      337 

intervals  of  employment ; "  and  that  institution  is  open  to 
all,  without  distinction  of  country  or  creed.  The  Ladies' 
Benevolent  Society  receives  liberal  aid  from  the  Government 
of  Victoria.  There  are  forty-two  Ladies'  Benevolent  Societies 
throughout  the  colony,  and  from  July  ist,  1890,  to  June  3Oth, 
1891,  these  distributed  relief  to  7853  individuals,  at  a  cost 
of  £13,679  us.  4^.  The  outlay  for  administration,  etc.,  was 
;£i8ii  19^.  3dr.  The  latter  figures  speak  well  for  the  manage- 
ment of  the  societies. 

In  every  department  of  women's  work  in  the  colony  of 
Victoria  high  excellence  has  been  attained  ;  in  none  has  its 
zeal  and  fidelity  been  more  fruitful  of  good  result  and  more 
worthy  of  warm  recognition  than  in  the  "  Reformatory 
Schools."  The  whole  subject  of  the  development  and 
v/orking  of  the  Preventive  and  Reformatory  system  of 
Victoria  is  of  primary  interest  and  importance,  and  we  have 
the  word  of  the  Agent- General  for  the  colony  for  the  high 
place  which  women  hold  in  the  administration  of  that 
system.  The  means  of  dealing  with  girls  of  the  reformatory 
class  are  threefold.  There  is  a  Government  reformatory  for 
Protestant  girls  at  Coburg,  near  Melbourne ;  a  private 
reformatory  for  Roman  Catholic  girls,  conducted  by  the 
Nuns  of  the  Good  Shepherd,  at  Oakleigh,  ten  miles  from 
Melbourne ;  and  a  private  reformatory  for  Protestant  girls 
at  Brookside,  112  miles  from  the  capital.  The  latter  was 
established  and  is  conducted  by  Mrs.  Rowe,  and  has,  together 
with  the  Good  Shepherd  Reformatory,  State  assistance  and 
inspection.  Mr.  Brett's  reports  on  all  three  institutions 
speak  highly  of  the  efficiency  of  the  management,  and 
hopefully  of  the  results. 

The  history  of  the  Brookside  Reformatory  is  singularly 
interesting,  for  the  institution  is  not  merely  of  the  modified 
penal  kind,  with  which  we  generally  associate  the  term  ;  it 
comes  in  also  under  the  heading  of  Industrial  Schools,  in 
which  Victoria  is  very  strong.  In  its  report  of  1872,  the  Royal 
Commission  on  Reformatory  and  Industrial  Schools,  while 
commending  the  work  carried  on  by  the  ladies  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  represented  the  extreme  desirability  of 
similar  work  as  regards  Protestant  girls  being  in  private  rather 
than  official  hands,  in  consideration  of  the  former  system's 


338  Womaris  Mission. 

greater  facilities  for  bringing  religious  influences  to  bear  upon 
their  reclamation  and  training.  Similar  representations,  urged 
by  the  Secretary  in  the  Departmental  Report  for  Parliament 
for  1886,  decided  the  foundress  of  the  Brookside  Reformatory 
to  attempt  the  work.  The  school,  which  began  with  six 
inmates,  had,  in  1891,  thirty-one  in  residence  in  two  cottages, 
fourteen  seniors  being  in  one,  with  two  ladies  in  charge,  and 
seventeen  juniors  under  the  superintendence  of  two  other 
ladies  in  the  second.  In  addition  to  these,  a  considerable 
number  of  the  girls  who  have  gone  through  the  school  course 
are  now  placed  at  service  in  the  farmhouses  and  families 
around,  earning  wages  according  to  their  abilities,  being  visited 
in  their  situations  from  time  to  time  by  Mrs.  Rowe,  her 
matrons,  and  the  members  of  her  Committee  of  Advice.  Mrs. 
Rowe  and  the  Nuns  of  the  Good  Shepherd  have  the  same 
entire  control  and  guardianship  over  their  wards  as  that  en- 
joyed by  the  superintendent  of  the  Boys'  Reformatory,  a 
Government  institution.  At  Geelong  there  is  a  Reformatory 
and  an  Industrial  School  under  the  charge  of  nuns,  receiving 
Government  assistance  and  inspection.  These  institutions,  in 
their  later  development,  are  comparatively  new  and  in  the 
day  of  small  things ;  but  they  are  of  vast  moment,  and  the 
women  who  are  devoting  themselves  to  this  difficult  work  are 
doing  the  very  best  of  patriotic  service.  The  Ladies'  Board- 
ing-Out Committees  are  admirably  organized  and  efficient ; 
the  success  of  the  boarding-out  system  in  Victoria  is  marked. 
Among  the  charitable  institutions  or  societies  other  than 
those  already  mentioned,  in  the  management  of  which  women 
are  immediately  concerned,  we  find,  in  the  metropolis,  a 
Convalescent  Home  for  Women,  St.  Vincent  de  Paul's  Girls' 
Orphanage,  the  Abbotsford  Refuge  for  Fallen  Women,  and 
an  Infant  Asylum.  These,  with  the  Provincial  Orphanage 
for  Girls  (Geelong),  make  five  important  fields  of  philan- 
thropical  action  occupied  by  women.  We  now  come  to  the 
charitable  institutions,  in  the  management  of  which  women 
co-operate  with  men  on  the  committee  of  management,  and, 
as  we  learn  from  the  reports  of  the  Inspector,  with  the  best 
results.  Those  in  Melbourne  are  the  Austin  Hospital  for 
Incurables,  the  Hospital  for  Sick  Children,  the  Women's 
Hospital  and  Infirmary,  the  Convalescent  Home  for  Men, 

Work  in  British   Colonies  and  the  East.      339 

the  Melbourne  Orphan  Asylum,  the  Collingwood  Refuge,  the 
Carlton  Refuge,  the  South  Yarra  Home,  the  Salvation  Army 
Rescue  Home,  the  Elizabeth  Fry's  Retreat.  The  provincial 
institutions  in  the  management  of  which  men  and  women 
co-operate  on  the  committee  of  management  are  the  Con- 
sumptive Sanatorium  at  Echuca,  the  Ballarat  Refuge,  and 
the  Geelong  Refuge.  The  official  reports  on  all  these 
are  interesting  reading,  and  full  of  encouragement  for  the 
future  of  the  colony,  which  is  so  solicitous  for  the  young,  the 
weak,  the  sick,  the  fallen,  the  poor,  in  short  for  all  suffering 
humanity,  and  finds  so  many  woman-hands,  heads,  and  hearts, 
all  fit  and  ready  for  the  most  onerous  tasks.  In  this  place 
we  may  note  that  Mr.  Brett  is  careful  to  make  special  refer- 
ence to  the  important  subject  of  the  nursing  of  the  sick,  and 
the  trained  and  competent  staff"  of  female  nurses  who  are 
taking  up  the  work  of  nursing  in  the  hospitals  of  Victoria. 
He  says,  "  The  number  of  women  is  273  as  compared  with 
45  men,  and  the  testimony  is  all  in  favour  of  the  special 
aptitude  of  women  for  such  work,  and  the  good  they  have 
done  in  raising  the  tone  of  our  institutions." 

Special  information  concerning  women's  philanthropic 
work  in  New  South  Wales  has  reached  us  too  late  to  enable 
us  to  give  the  particulars  in  so  full  detail  as  it  deserves  and 
as  we  desire,  but  even  the  list  of  the  institutions  worked  by 
women  is  a  noble  record,  and  it  is  especially  rich  in  provision 
for  the  relief  of  children.  The  Hospital  for  Sick  Children  is 
managed  by  a  mixed  board  of  men  and  women,  but  the  latter 
are  practically  the  directors  of  the  institution.  The  hospital 
receives  the  sick  children  of  the  poor,  irrespective  of  creed, 
and  has  a  staff  of  trained  nurses.  The  Asylum  for  Deaf, 
Dumb,  and  Blind  Children,  which  is  also  chiefly  a  woman's 
province,  is  of  high  excellence,  and  has  been  pronounced  by 
experts  to  be  equal  in  merit  to  the  world-famous  American 
institutions  of  its  kind.  The  best  modern  teachers  are 
provided  for  "  the  disinherited  ones,"  whose  course  of  instruc- 
tion, in  addition  to  that  of  the  ordinary  schools,  includes 
music,  singing,  and  domestic  duties.  The  Infants'  Home, 
originally  the  Sydney  Foundling  Hospital,  is  entirely  women's 
work  in  its  origin.  In  1873  ^ve  ladies  determined  that  they 

34O  Woman  s  Mission. 

would  do  something  to  check  the  crime  of  infanticide, 
numerous  cases  having  occurred  in  Sydney,  and  accordingly 
founded  the  asylum.  Some  years  of  struggle  and  difficulty 
ensued,  but  a  more  recent  period  has  witnessed  the  prosperity 
of  the  Infants'  Home,  now  assisted  by  the  Government,  and 
long  since  supported  by  the  warm  sympathy  of  the  public. 
The  great  aim  of  the  protectors  of  the  poor  little  waifs  who 
are  thrown  upon  the  charity  of  the  institution,  is  to  give 
them  the  elements  of  a  home  and  family,  and  this  is  found 
to  be  most  effectually  done  by  what  is  now  well  known  as 
the  Cottage  System.  The  boarding-out  of  destitute  children 
in  healthy  country  homes  has  proved  a  successful  enterprise, 
and  is  entirely  due  to  the  exertions  of  a  society  of  ladies 
which  was  formed  in  1879.  At  that  time  the  "barrack 
system  "  only  prevailed.  There  were  four  refuges,  viz.  the 
Catholic  and  Protestant  Asylum  Schools,  the  Randwick 
Asylum,  and  the  Sydney  Benevolent  Asylum.  In  1881 
the  scheme  had  so  far  justified  itself  by  results  that  it  was 
placed  under  official  control,  and  a  statute  was  passed  by 
the  Legislature,  entitled  "  The  State  Children's  Relief  Act," 
under  which  a  Board  was  appointed  to  control  the  boarded- 
out  children,  and  this  Board  included  the  ladies  who  had 
initiated  the  movement.  At  the  end  of  the  first  official 
year  there  were  fifty-nine  children  in  homes,  at  the  end  of 
the  tenth  year  the  number  stood  at  2369  ;  and  boarding- 
out  was  then  generally  recognized  as  the  national  policy 
for  dealing  with  children  of  the  State.  All  the  depen- 
dent children  supported  by  the  Government  had  been  with- 
drawn from  the  Randwick  Asylum,  and  the  denominational 
orphanages  had  ceased  to  exist.  Two  of  three  ladies  who 
inaugurated  this  great  reform,  and  who  were  known  in  the 
colony  as  "  the  dauntless  three,"  Mrs.  Garran,  Mrs.  Jefferis, 
and  Mrs.  (now  Lady)  Windeyer,  still  continue  their  labours, 
and  the  Misses  Garran  have  acted  for  years  as  Hon.  Secre- 
taries. Lady  visitors  in  the  principal  inland  towns  regularly 
visit  the  boarded-out  children. 

The  Sydney  Benevolent  Asylum  has  a  lying-in  branch 
which  is  entirely  managed  by  women  ;  this  is  also  a  training 
establishment  for  midwives.  There  are  fifteen  benevolent 
societies,  similarly  constituted  and  managed,  dispersed  among 

Work  in  British  Colonies  and  the  East.       341 

the  principal  districts  of  New  South  Wales.  The  Lisgar 
House  School,  supported  by  Mrs.  Scott,  an  establishment 
at  which  poor  children  are  boarded,  lodged,  and  educated, 
has  been  in  beneficent  existence  for  many  years.  Coming 
to  the  hospitals'  work,  we  find  in  our  special  report,  as  "  one 
of  the  noblest  monuments  of  women's  work,  the  labours  of 
thirty- five  years  among  the  sick  and  suffering  of  all  creeds  by 
the  Sisters  of  Charity,  who  are  the  managers  of  St.  Vincent's 
Hospital  at  Sydney."  It  was  in  1855,  upon  his  return  from 
Europe,  that  Archbishop  Folding  brought  with  him  a  small 
band  of  Sisters  of  Charity,  who  were  so  impressed  with  the 
need  for  greater  hospital  accommodation  in  Sydney,  that 
within  a  year  after  their  arrival  they  began  to  collect  for  the 
establishment  of  a  free  hospital  under  their  care.  In  1857 
a  little  unpretending  house  was  opened,  with  eight  beds. 
We  have  no  space  in  which  to  tell  its  progressive  history,  but 
must  mention  that  medical  men  volunteered  their  help ;  the 
Government  gave  a  grant  of  land  for  a  new  building  in  1862  ; 
and  in  1863  Archbishop  Folding  laid  the  foundation-stone  of 
St.  Vincent's  Hospital  on  the  site  now  covered  with  a  hand- 
some pile  of  building.  We  must  pass  on  to  the  record  most 
nearly  up  to  date.  In  1886  Lord  Carrington  laid  the  founda- 
tion-stone of  the  second  half  of  the  building  ;  and  last 
November  (1892)  Lord  Jersey  opened  yet  another  wing. 
The  number  of  in-patients  during  1891  was  1354,  of  out- 
patients, 7044,  so  vast  is  the  work  that  has  grown  out  of  such 
small  beginnings.  The  management  is  exclusively  in  the 
hands  of  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  and  twelve  medical  men  give 
their  sedulous  services  to  this  hospital.  St  Joseph's  Hospital 
for  Consumptives  at  Paramatta  was  founded  in  1889,  and  is 
managed  by  the  Sisters  of  Charity ;  and  there  is  also  under 
their  care  in  Sydney  a  Hospice  for  the  dying. 

A  Home  for  the  Aged  Poor  is  conducted  by  the  Little 
Sisters  of  the  Poor  on  precisely  the  same  lines  as  the  well- 
known  institution  in  London.  Old  and  infirm  persons  of 
both  sexes  and  all  creeds  are  the  inmates.  A  Children's 
Hospital  at  Petersham,  a  Magdalene  Retreat,  a  Providence 
Home,  two  Orphanages,  an  Industrial  School  and  Home, 
conducted  on  the  Leichhardt  system,  at  which  young  girls 
are  taught  trades  by  the  Sisters,  and  an  Industrial  Orphan 

34 2  Woman's  Mission. 

Reformatory,  are   among   the   Roman  Catholic  institutions 
inaugurated,  conducted,  and  managed  by  women. 

An  interesting  feature  of  women's  work  in  New  South 
Wales  is  the  Female  School  of  Industry,  a  Church  of  England 
institution,  founded  in  1826  by  Lady  Darling,  the  wife  of  the 
then  Governor  of  the  Colony.  It  is  one  of  the  earliest 
foundations,  and  was  established  for  the  maintenance  and 
training  in  cooking  and  domestic  duties  of  fifty  female  children 
of  poor  persons,  This  course  of  instruction  includes  reading, 
writing,  the  first  four  rules  of  arithmetic,  plain  needlework, 
knitting,  and  spinning.  We  have  not  exhausted  the  list  of 
women's  philanthropical  work  in  the  Colony  of  New  South 
Wales  by  the  foregoing  examples,  but  we  are  unable  to  enter 
more  fully  into  the  deeply  interesting  and  encouraging 
statement  before  us.  At  fifteen  years  of  age  the  children 
are  apprenticed  to  subscribers,  who  are  members  of  the 
Protestant  Church,  the  committee  standing  in  loco  parentis 
until  the  child  reaches  the  age  of  eighteen.  This  institution 
is  well  worked,  and  highly  esteemed  in  the  colony,  where  it 
is  the  only  one  of  its  kind.  The  Young  Women's  Christian 
Association  and  the  Working  and  Factory  Girls'  Club  are 
admirable  examples  of  women's  work,  and  are  growing 

We  have  been  favoured  with  several  items  of  interesting 
information  from  the  colony  of  Queensland,  where  women 
are  working  on  so  many  lines  that  the  space  at  our  disposal 
does  not  enable  us  to  do  justice  to  the  extent  and  multiplicity 
of  their  labours.  Here  again  we  find  the  Ladies'  Benevolent 
Society  in  active  work  in  the  capital  and  elsewhere,  admirably 
organized  and  generously  supported.  The  rules  of  the  North 
Brisbane  Benevolent  Society  are  very  full  and  elaborate. 
The  payment  of  a  monthly  subscription  of  one  shilling 
entitles  any  lady  to  membership.  Gentlemen  are  only  per- 
mitted to  subscribe.  The  objects  of  the  society  are  almost 
identical  in  all  the  colonies,  and  the  institution  is  evidently  a 
favourite  one  in  each  of  them. 

A  special  interest  attaches  to  the  Lady  Musgrave  Lodge 
and  Training  Institute  for  single  girl  immigrants  and  others, 
which  was  established  in  1885,  and  whose  full  history  to  the 

Work  in  British  Colonies  and  the  East.      343 

end  of  last  year  is  available  for  our  purpose.  The  establish- 
ment, on  unsectarian  principles,  of  a  home  for  friendless  and 
especially  immigrant  girls,  where  they  find  guardianship, 
protection,  and  friendship,  with  comfortable  conditions  and 
no  rigid  rules,  except  those  dictated  by  common  sense,  was  a 
boon  of  great  magnitude,  and  the  benevolent  intention  of  the 
foundress,  Lady  Musgrave,  who  still  continues  to  take  an 
interest  in  the  Lodge,  has  been  warmly  seconded.  The  Lady 
Musgrave  Lodge  has  rapidly  risen  from  modest  beginnings 
to  so  flourishing  a  condition  that  a  vast  and  handsome  edifice 
(of  which  Lady  Norman  laid  the  first  stone  on  the  ist  of 
August,  1891)  has  been  erected  to  replace  the  first  Lodge, 
become  insufficient  for  the  inmates.  During  the  six  years  of 
its  existence,  the  institution  had  grown  with  such  rapidity 
that  at  the  date  of  the  report  for  1892,  hundreds  of  young 
women  were  finding  help,  shelter,  and  guidance  every 
year.  The  Lodge  is  now  a  home  and  registry  office  for 
trained  nurses,  young  women  in  business,  and  domestic 

It  is  unnecessary  to  dwell  upon  the  benefits  which  such 
an  institution  confers,  not  only  upon  the  individuals  of  the 
immigrant  class,  in  whose  interest  it  was  founded,  but  in 
relieving  the  anxiety  and  lessening  the  pain  of  those  partings 
and  disruptions  of  family  life  which  are  inevitable  in  the 
struggle  for  the  means  of  bread-winning.  During  the  year 
1891, 1 133  women  were  received  into  the  lodge,  a  large  propor- 
tion of  these  being  girls  who  had  come  to  the  colony  entirely 
unprotected,  and  without  any  means  of  support  in  the  event 
of  their  being  dismissed  from  their  employment.  This 
excellent  institution  now  receives  State  assistance,  and  is 
regarded  with  great  favour  by  the  Premier,  Sir  S.  W.  Griffith. 
With  the  occupation  of  the  new  building,  the  activity  of  the 
work  has  been  extended  by  the  appointment  of  corresponding 
members,  with  whom  communication  may  be  held  concerning 
the  welfare  of  young  women  as  they  move  from  place  to 
place  either  from  or  to  Brisbane.  Ladies  have  been  appointed 
to  act  as  corresponding  members  in  all  the  important  towns 
of  the  colony,  and  thus  the  bond  of  humane  interest  and 
kindly  superintendence  is  maintained  between  their  first 
friends  among  strangers  and  the  immigrant  girls,  and  the 

344  Woman  s  Mission. 

latter  are  not  severed  from  the  moral  shelter  of  their  first 
home  in  a  strange  land. 

In  1889,  2265  girls  went  to  Queensland  from  England, 
and  more  than  one-half  of  these  landed  in  Brisbane.     We 
learn  from  Miss  Keith,  the  secretary,  that  prior  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  the  Lady  Musgrave  Lodge  attempts  had  been 
made  to  befriend  the  girl-immigrants,  who  were  met  on  their 
arrival  at  the  Immigration  Depot,  and  put  in  communication 
with  an  association   which  was   afterwards   merged   in   the 
Girls'  Protection  Society.     Experience,  however,  proved  the 
impossibility  of  carrying  out  this  work  efficiently  without  a 
Home   in  which  the  large  number  of  young  women  who 
applied  for  help  and  guidance  might  be  cared  for  until  suit- 
able  situations   could   be   found   for  them.     To   meet   this 
necessity  the  Lady  Musgrave  Lodge  was  established,  and  its 
seven  years'  history  proves  that  its  promoters  were  not  mis- 
taken in  their  idea  of  the  requirements  of  the  case.     The 
advantages  of  the  new  Lodge  include  training-classes  in  the 
domestic   arts,  and   courses   of  lessons  in  cookery,  so  that 
immigrant  girls  may  not  only  be  provided  with  situations, 
but  qualified  to  fill  them.     Lectures  on  nursing  by  a  qualified 
physician  are  provided  for  aspirants  to  that  profession.     The 
management  is  by  a  ladies'  committee,  and  the  secretary  is  a 
lady.     The   institution  is  an  object  of  the  deepest  interest, 
actively  displayed,  to  the  ladies  of  Brisbane ;  and  we  may 
judge  of  the  economy  with  which  it  is  ruled  by  the  fact  that 
the  only  paid  officials  in  -the  large   establishment  are  the 
matron  and  two  female  servants.     In  the  new  Lodge  there  is 
ample  accommodation  for  all  possible  requirements  in  con- 
nection with  the  work.     Every  boarder  can  now  secure   a 
separate  bedroom,  with  the  use  of  sitting-room,  dining-room, 
lavatories,  baths,  and  cool  roomy  balconies.     When  we  add 
to  these  particulars  the  special  advantages  which  have  been 
secured  to  the  immigrant  candidates  for  admission  to  the 
Lady  Musgrave  Lodge,  by  arrangement  with  the  large  Steam 
Navigation  Companies,  we  think  it  may  fairly  be  claimed  for 
the  women's  work  of  Queensland  that  it  has  created  an  insti- 
tution of  exceptional  value,  and  is  maintaining  its  life  and 

We  know  from   our  own  experience   in   England   that 

Work  in  British  Colonies  and  the  East.      345 

sympathy  with,  and  help  for,  the  suffering  of  young  children 
are  ready  everywhere  ;  and  we  are  therefore  prepared  to  find 
the  Hospital  for  Sick  Children  in  Brisbane  a  favourite 
charitable  institution.  The  story  of  its  rise  and  progress  is 
of  unusual  interest,  for  it  had  its  origin  in  the  merciful  and 
energetic  action  of  one  lady.  At  an  early  period  in  the 
history  of  Queensland,  the  amount  of  sickness  and  the  great 
mortality  among  children  became  apparent.  "Free  and 
assisted  emigration,"  writes  the  author  of  the  statement  before 
us,  "  brought  many  immigrants  to  the  colony.  They  '  took 
up '  land,  built  a  bark  or  slab  hut,  and  began  clearing  for 
cultivation  ;  a  labour  in  which  the  mother  as  well  as  the 
children  helped  the  father.  In  health  all  went  well,  but  when 
sickness  came  there  was  no  room  for  it.  Much  .suffering  and, 
too  frequently,  death  followed.  This  state  of  things  came  under 
the  notice  of  a  lady  near  such  a  neighbourhood  about  seven 
miles  from  Brisbane.  It  was  asserted  that  a  large  number  of 
children  born  in  the  district  died  under  five  years  of  age. 
Children  under  five  are  not  admissible  into  the  General 
Hospital,  and  when  above  that  age  were  placed  in  the  wards 
for  adults — an  arrangement  wholly  unsuited  to  their  tender 
years — while  in  the  little  bush-home  there  were  no  means  of 
meeting  the  needs  of  sickness."  In  1876,  it  was  resolved — 
we  may  conclude  by  the  observant  lady,  who  remains 
anonymous — to  obtain  a  hospital  for  these  little  sufferers. 
For  this  end  a  few  friends  were  gathered  together,  chiefly 
mothers  with  their  young  daughters,  making  an  impromptu 
garden-party  ;  and  their  sympathy  with  the  scheme  was  shown 
in  such  a  hearty  manner  that  then  and  there  the  work  was 
begun,  with  such  energy  and  enthusiasm  that  in  the  following 
year  (1877)  £1393  were  placed  in  the  bank.  Twelve  ladies 
then  formed  themselves  into  a  provisional  committee,  stated 
their  objects,  opened  a  subscription-list  for  maintenance,  etc., 
and  obtained  a  copy  of  rules  from  the  Children's  Hospital 
in  Melbourne,  Victoria,  the  only  one  existing  in  Australia  at 
that  time.  The  committee  sent  to  London  for  a  qualified 
matron,  two  trained  nurses,  and  medical  appliances  to